Newcastle return against Bath

Date published: July 19 2013


Premiership Rugby have confirmed that Newcastle Falcons will kick off the new Aviva Premiership season by facing Bath at home.

Premiership Rugby have confirmed that Newcastle Falcons will kick off the new Aviva Premiership season by facing Bath at home.

Newcastle are back in the league after just one season away in the RFU Championship, filling the spot left by London Welsh following their relegation and will take on Bath and former director of rugby Gary Gold on Friday September 6.

Aviva Premiership champions Leicester Tigers will start the defence of their title at home to Dean Ryan's Worcester Warriors.

The Tigers, who claimed their historic tenth Aviva Premiership Rugby title in May, beating Northampton Saints 37-17, face the Warriors on Sunday, September 8, kicking off at 2pm.

The Tigers move from their Welford Road home in round two to face one of their oldest rivals in Bath, a match which celebrates the 100th anniversary of games between the two sides. The first match was on 13 September 1913.

The Saturday of the first weekend will feature the traditional London Double Header which sees London Irish kick off against Saracens, followed by London Wasps against Harlequins.

To complete a stunning opening weekend, last season's Aviva Premiership Rugby runners-up Northampton Saints entertain Exeter Chiefs while Steve Diamond's Sale Sharks make the trip to Kingsholm to face Gloucester – both matches are on Saturday.

“Every year the anticipation over the new fixtures grows and looking at the 2013-14 season it is clear we have huge matches every weekend,” said Phil Winstanley, the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby.

“Matches in Aviva Premiership Rugby get more compelling and competitive every year and last season we once again had a smaller average winning margin (a slim 11 points) in our games than in any other League in the world.

“We've had three different Aviva Premiership champions in the last three years and last May we had a new club (Northampton Saints) in the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final.”

This season there will be two Aviva Premiership matches at Twickenham – in addition to the London Double Header and the Final – and one at Wembley.

Harlequins face Exeter Chiefs on December 28 and London Wasps entertain Gloucester Rugby on April 19 at Twickenham, while Saracens will play their match with Harlequins on March 22 at Wembley.

In the 2011/12 season the Saracens v Harlequins match at Wembley attracted a world record crowd for a club rugby match of 83,761 supporters.