Gloucester first up, and Saints face final-day showdown at rivals Leicester Tigers

FINAL DAY HUMDINGER - Saints will play Leicester Tigers on the final weekend of the regular Aviva Premiership season (Picture: Linda Dawson)
FINAL DAY HUMDINGER - Saints will play Leicester Tigers on the final weekend of the regular Aviva Premiership season (Picture: Linda Dawson)
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Champions Saints will face a final-day showdown at local rivals Leicester Tigers in the forthcoming season’s Aviva Premiership.

Jim Mallinder’s men will head to Welford Road on Saturday, May 16, which is the week before the Premiership play-off semi-finals.

That fixture is part of a tricky run-in for Saints, with a game at Exeter and a home clash with Saracens, which will be played in Milton Keynes, both scheduled for April.

However, the start to the season appears to be kinder, with only one member of last season’s top five on the schedule during the opening six games.

Saints will begin the defence of their title with a Friday night game against Gloucester at Franklin’s Gardens on the first weekend of September.

Successive away games against Wasps and Newcastle follow, with a home game against Bath, a trip to London Irish and a clash with Sale at the Gardens lying in wait before the Rugby Champions Cup campaign begins on the third weekend of October.

Saints’ first east midlands derby clash with Tigers comes the week before Christmas, with a game at Harlequins and a home match against Newcastle completing the festive period.

Saints’ 2014/15 fixture list

Fri Sep 5 Gloucester Rugby H Aviva Premiership R 1

Sun Sep 14 Wasps A Aviva Premiership R 2

Sun Sep 21 Newcastle Falcons A Aviva Premiership R 3

Sat Sep 27 Bath Rugby H Aviva Premiership R 4

Sat Oct 4 London Irish A Aviva Premiership R 5

Sat Oct 11 Sale Sharks H Aviva Premiership R 6

Sat Oct 18 European Rugby 1

Sat Oct 25 European Rugby 2

Sat Nov 1 Anglo-Welsh 1

Sat Nov 8 Anglo-Welsh 2 / England v. New Zealand

Sat Nov 15 Exeter Chiefs H Aviva Premiership R 7 / England v. South Africa

Sat Nov 22 Saracens A Aviva Premiership R 8 / England v. Samoa

Sat Nov 29 London Welsh A Aviva Premiership R 9 / England v. Australia

Sat Dec 6 European Rugby 3

Sat Dec 13 European Rugby 4

Sat Dec 20 Leicester Tigers H Aviva Premiership R 10

Sat Dec 27 Harlequins A Aviva Premiership R 11

Sat Jan 3 Newcastle Falcons H Aviva Premiership R 12

Sat Jan 10 Sale Sharks A Aviva Premiership R 13

Sat Jan 17 European Rugby 5

Sat Jan 24 European Rugby 6

Sat Jan 31 Anglo-Welsh 3

Fri Feb 6 Wales v. England

Sat Feb 7 Anglo-Welsh 4

Sat Feb 14 London Irish H Aviva Premiership R 14 / England v. Italy

Sat Feb 21 Bath Rugby A Aviva Premiership R 15

Sat Feb 28 Harlequins H Aviva Premiership R 16

Sun Mar 1 Ireland v. England

Sat Mar 7 Gloucester Rugby A Aviva Premiership R 17

Sat Mar 14 Anglo-Welsh Semi-Final / England v. Scotland

Sat Mar 21 Anglo-Welsh Final / England v. France

Sat Mar 28 Wasps H Aviva Premiership R 18

Sat Apr 4 European Rugby Quarter-Final

Sat Apr 11 Exeter Chiefs A Aviva Premiership R 19

Sat Apr 18 European Rugby Semi-Final

Sat Apr 25 Saracens H Aviva Premiership R 20

Sat May 2 European Rugby Final

Sat May 9 London Welsh H Aviva Premiership R 21

Sat May 16 Leicester Tigers A Aviva Premiership R 22

Sat May 23 Aviva Premiership