🏉 Strap yourselves in for a London derby special as Saracens and Harlequins go head-to-head at StoneX Stadium in the Allianz Premier 15s play-off semi-final. Tickets on sale here.
After 18 rounds of league action Saracens finished top and defending champions Harlequins finished fourth in the Premier 15s table, meaning the London rivals clash this afternoon with a place in the final at Sixways – against either Exeter Chiefs or Bristol Bears – on Friday 3 June at stake.
It was a 2020/2021 Premier 15s season to remember for Harlequins who finally got their hands on the league trophy, beating their arch rivals Saracens (who were aiming for a third consecutive title) in the process.
But as the 2021/2022 reaches a climax Saracens have an opportunity to exact revenge this afternoon. After 18 rounds of league action Sarries finished top of the table while Harlequins – who slipped to a final day 22-17 defeat at Loughborough Lightning – finished fourth giving them the unenviable task of travelling to face their fierce London rivals in the semi-finals when many thought they’d meet in the final.
It’s Saracens and Harlequins biggest game of the season so far – join them for this mouthwatering showdown on a family day of fun at StoneX which will include on-pitch magic, off-pitch entertainment and fantastic food & drink.
Gates open at 12 noon ahead of kick-off at 2pm.
See below for an introduction to the Premier 15s and The Allianz Cup.
🕒 This weekend’s Premier 15s matches in London: Sunday 22 May: Saracens v Harlequins KO 2pm.
The season so far: Saracens finished top of the league on 77 points and a guaranteed home semi-final in the end-of-season play-offs. Exeter Chiefs beat Bristol Bears 29-26 on the final day of the regular season to finish second – and with that result the Chiefs earned themselves a home draw against Bristol Bears when the sides meet again in the play-off semi-finals this weekend. Harlequins missed out on climbing into third with their defeat at Loughborough Lightning, meaning they must travel to Saracens in the play-offs.
About the Allianz Premier 15s:
LEAGUE: The Premier 15s is a competition featuring the best club sides in England taking place from September to June and run by the Rugby Football Union (RFU). A top tier of women’s rugby union has existed since 1990 leading to an improvement in England’s fortunes on the international stage which saw the ‘Red Roses’ win the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2014 and finish runners up in 2017.
Launched in September 2017 to support the Red Roses’ ambition to be the number one team in the world, 10 teams were invited to take part in the Premier 15s – largely drawn from existing Women’s Premiership teams – which receives a multi-million pound investment from the RFU to help deliver the minimum standards expected and provide high-quality coaching, facilities, training environments and community engagement plans. Saracens Women were the inaugural champions beating London rivals Harlequins in the play-off final.
This season there is no promotion or relegation with a regular league format of home and away fixtures taking place over 18 rounds. The top four teams go through to the semi-final play-offs on 21 May 2022. The winners of the two semi-finals – each over one leg and taking place at the respective grounds of the first and second ranked teams after the conclusion of the regular season – go through to the Grand Final on 4 June 2022 (venue TBC). The defending champions are Harlequins Women.
CUP: The new season also sees the introduction of The Allianz Cup which has been created to give an opportunity to wider squad players to compete during international windows. Clubs will be ranked by their 2021/22 league finishing position and drawn in two pools of five, with clubs playing each other once in two home games, two away games, one BYE week over five rounds.
The top two teams in each pool will progress to the semi-finals played at the highest ranked clubs’ venues (16 April 2022) as well a third-placed play-off and showpiece final (both 22 April 2022). The Allianz Cup final will be played at the home venue of the winning semi-finalist club with the highest points’ difference.
The bottom four ranked teams will enter fifth, seventh and ninth placed play-off finals with the home team once again determined by stage one league tables. The Cup competition also gives greater exposure to every Allianz Premier 15s round.
The Premier 15s teams for season 2021/2022 are Bristol Bears, DMP Durham Sharks, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester-Hartpury, Harlequins, Loughborough Lightning, Sale Sharks, Saracens, Wasps and Worcester Warriors.
The three London Premier 15s teams are Harlequins (based at Twickenham Stoop and Guildford), Saracens (who play their home matches at StoneX Stadium) and Wasps (fixtures at Twyford Avenue).