Premiership semi-final dates firmed

07th May 2014, 16:22

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Dates set: Semi-finals

Dates set: Semi-finals

Premiership Rugby confirmed on Wednesday the dates for the upcoming semi-final stages of this year's hotly-contested competition.

Premiership Rugby confirmed on Wednesday the dates for the upcoming semi-final stages of this year's hotly-contested competition.

With three of the clubs chasing a semi-final berth having also qualified in one of the two European finals, Premiership Rugby has decided it is important to avoid a potential short turnaround for clubs involved in those European finals and to give their semi-final clubs as much notice as possible.

As a result, this year the first Premiership semi-final will be played at 1945 BST on Friday 16 May and the second one at 1400 BST on Saturday 17 May.

The first semi-final on Friday evening will be either Northampton Saints or Leicester Tigers at home and the second one on Saturday afternoon will see Saracens at home.

"We are delighted to see three of our teams reach a European final this season so it was important we did all we could in terms of setting fixtures to give them as much chance of success as possible," said Premiership Rugby Chief Executive Mark McCafferty.

"I would like to put on record our thanks for the co-operation of our broadcast partner, BT Sport, in making this decision. They played a key role in this arrangement to back the English clubs in Europe.

"Friday evening has been a big success this season and has produced some great matches. With an Premiership final spot now at stake, I'm sure the atmosphere and the occasion will go up another few notches.