rugby union in london

Rugby Union

(M) Saracens v Leinster

🏉 Rugby union fans in London are spoilt for choice with the 2023/2024 men’s club season set to feature a host of teams from the capital in domestic (Premiership, Championship & National League) and European (Champions Cup) action.

With the Premiership taking a break for the Six Nations, domestic action this week features a blockbuster friendly on Friday night between European giants Saracens and Leinster.  Tickets are on sale here. 

PREMIERSHIP RUGBY IN LONDON

10 sides contest the new Gallagher Premiership season which runs from October 2023 to June 2024.  Saracens are the defending champions after they flew the flag for rugby union in London winning the Premiership title for a sixth time with a 35-25 win over Sale Sharks at Twickenham Stadium last May.

Joining Saracens as one of two teams in the capital aiming for Premiership glory this season are 2021 champions Harlequins.  

👀 READ ON for season so far news, rugby union in London matches coming up and how you can be there!

SEASON SO FAR

It’s all to play for at the top of the Gallagher Premiership after twelve rounds of matches.  Heading into the Six Nations break, 11 points separate the top six sides.  Leaders Northampton Saints are on 44 points.

Harlequins remain in second place in the Premiership table (on 37 points) despite a dramatic 19-20 defeat to Leicester Tigers last time out.  The west Londoners had moved up to second after they started the year with a 24-3 league win on the road at Newcastle Falcons.  That followed a thrilling encounter against Gloucester in Big Game 15 to round off 2023.  The final score was 32-26 in favour of the Londoners, in a match played in front of over 76,000 people at Twickenham Stadium.

In the Champions Cup, Quins dispatched Cardiff Rugby and Ulster on consecutive January weekends.  England stars Danny Care and Marcus Smith have proved a formidable pairing at half-back for the Stoop side who are through to the knockout stages.  They now look forward to a last-16 home tie against Glasgow Warriors on Friday 5 April.

Saracens rich run of form continues.  They started the season with back-to-back defeats while a significant number of their players were in France on Rugby World Cup duty.  But with their international contingent restored the north London side are much-improved.  Having finished 2023 in style with a comprehensive win over Newcastle Falcons, the north Londoners beat Exeter Chiefs 40-22 at StoneX Stadium to move up to third place on 36 points.

On the European front, Saracens booked their place in the last-16 of the competition with a superb come-from-behind 39-24 victory over Lyon in their final group game.  A trip to France on Saturday 6 April to play Union Bordeaux Bègles awaits for Sarries in the knockout stages.

NEXT MATCH IN LONDON

The Premiership is taking a break in February and early March for the Six Nations.  In the meantime Saracens take on Leinster in an intriguing clash between two powerhouses of European rugby.  A friendly in name only the sides collide at StoneX Stadium on Friday 23 February.  The Premiership action then returns to the capital with a bang on Saturday 23 March as Saracens and Harlequins lock horns at Tottenham Hotspur in The Showdown 4.  Strap yourselves in!

🎟️ TICKET NEWS LATEST ➡️ Harlequins ~ Saracens

🕒 PREMIERSHIP MATCHES COMING UP IN THE CAPITAL

2024.  March, April & May

Round 13 – Saturday 23 March: Saracens v Harlequins KO 3.05pm ~ Saturday 30 March.  Round 14: Harlequins v Bath Rugby KO 3.05pm ~ Round 15 Saturday 20 April: Saracens v Gloucester Rugby KO 3pm ~ Round 16.  27 April: Harlequins v Northampton Saints KO 3.05pm ~ Round 18.  Saturday 18 May: Harlequins v Bristol Bears KO 3pm.  Saracens v Sale Sharks KO 3pm.

CHAMPIONSHIP RUGBY IN LONDON

Ealing Trailfinders and London Scottish ensure a strong London presence in the second tier of men’s English rugby.  The Championship season takes place over 22 rounds, beginning on the weekend of 21/22 October with the final round scheduled for the weekend of 24/25 May 2024.  The league consists of 12 teams.

Ealing Trailfinders are top of the table on 46 points, eight points ahead of Cornish Pirates who are in second.  The two sides met at Trailfinders Sports Club last Saturday and the west London side dished out a statement 40-12 defeat on their Cornish visitors.  London Scottish are rooted to the bottom of the table, despite beating Trailfinders 19-17 in their derby match at the end of December.  The Richmond Athletic Ground side have games in hand on Cambridge and Caldy above them.  Caldy visit on Saturday 24 February in a must-win match for London Scottish as they battle to avoid relegation.

🎟️ TICKET NEWS LATEST ➡️ Ealing Trailfinders ~ London Scottish

🕒 CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES COMING UP IN LONDON: 2023/2024 fixture list here.   

NATIONAL LEAGUE 1

Rosslyn Park, Richmond Rugby and Blackheath are London’s representatives in National League 1 for the 2023/2024 season.  The season runs from mid-October through until the end of April.  The current campaign features 14 teams.

After nineteen rounds of action Rosslyn Park are the leading side from the capital in sixth place on 55 points.  Meanwhile Richmond and Blackheath are in seventh and ninth place on 54 and 45 points respectively.  Blackheath scored a memorable 22-17 win over leaders Chinnor last time out.  It’s all to play for in the battle to finish as London’s top club in the division.

🎟️ TICKET NEWS LATEST ➡️ Blackheath ~ Richmond Rugby ~ Rosslyn Park

🕒 NATIONAL LEAGUE 1 MATCHES COMING UP IN THE CAPITAL: 2023/2024 fixture list here.

👀 For more great spectator sport visit our What’s On page.  And for regular reminders to ensure you don’t miss a moment of the action subscribe now to our free newsletter!

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