01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

The Society's Community

English Premiership Rugby


We have a fairly active Welsh Rugby thread and an International one so I’m hoping there must be some English Premiership fans out there too?

This afternoon sees the town of my upbringing (Northampton) travel to my wife’s team (Wasps). Its an interesting fixture which has gone in recent years from complete Saints dominance to Wasps making all the running. On current form it’s hard to call but I’m backing Saints to follow up last weeks strong performance and heap more misery on the Wasps losing streak

We often make the trip to this fixture and sometimes took my late father along to Franklins Gardens which we all thoroughly enjoyed. This afternoon we’ll watch it at home with a couple of warm Lemsips but regardless of the setting (and the form of the teams) its always one of our most anticipated matches of the season


Commiserations on the loss! I’m a Quins fan so thinking about something suitable from the wine rack to celebrate the dizzy heights of third in the table we reached this weekend.


A frustrating game but at least in losing to Wasps my wife is happy :slight_smile:

I’m actually a bit of a Wasps fan as well, it’s only when they play Saints that I don’t want them to win so the defeat is just about bearable :wink:

Congrats on third!!!


I’m a Saracens fan and season ticket holder.

Not a great result this weekend but looking nailed on for home semi final.

Beyond sarries and exeter the rest of the division is a massive bun fight. It’s all up for grabs.

Unfortunately, unless they do away with relegation, then it looks like a top team is going down.


Ah the ManUtd of rugby. Love em or hate em you have to respect what Saracens have achieved!

I’d hate to think they’d scrap relegation (ask again at the end of the season)! Without it Exeter would never be in the position they are now


As long as you mean Man Utd and the class of 1992. There are definite similarities there with how the core of the team have developed together all the way from the youth team.

True, but I think that money may talk, especially now that Bristol are in the premiership. I think they’d be quite happy to raise the drawbridge now. It would allow teams to make proper long term plans rather than just plan to avoid relegation.


Oh yes, I meant that rather than the Moyes / Van Gaal / Mourinho debacle!!

I see your point but can’t see how lower clubs can develop if there is no ultimate goal to chase. Very hard on someone (eg London Irish) if a cut off is made


There is a bigger issue around rugby in the north of England. If Newcastle are relegated and London Irish go up, it means there would be no Premiership club in England North of Manchester. I’m all for helping successful clubs progress but I’d hate to see the game disappear from such an important part of the country. I think the RFU need a plan to support regions without a Premiership Club so the natural cycle of top league clubs ebbing and flowing doesn’t threaten the broader success of the game at all other levels.


Hi @NickP, Leicester Tigers fan here - was a student in the city in the early nineties and a regular attendee at Welford Road when it cost about £3.50 to get in to see the likes of Martin Johnson, Neil Back and Rory Undewood tear up the majority of teams that visited. I fear those high days are over for a while, but I always enjoy the Tigers v Saints or Bath fixtures :wink:

Welford Road was also great for seeing visiting interenational sides, who in those day would play teams like the East Midlands, England Saxons and the BaBa’s at Welford Road. At that time you could mingle with the All Blacks in the bar after a game.


I really think that having no relegation has benefits. There are so few teams in the championship that could properly sustain themselves in the Premiership. The only reason Bristol have done so is that have a hugely wealthy benefactor who has ploughed huge money into the club.

The devastating consequences of a club like Newcastle going down outweigh the benefits of a championship club coming up to go straight back down.

If the league can grow and financially support expansion in 2-5 years then add more clubs if they can sustain themselves. There is potential in clubs like London Irish, Cornish Pirates, Yorkshire Carnegie, even Ealing Trailfinders but I do think the priority should be to protect the current premiership clubs and allow them to properly plan for the long term, both financially and in developing players from their academies.

I think it may well happen but not this year.


But the far more pressing issue is…how to get a decent glass of wine at most premiership rugby grounds! I really can’t stomach the standard quarter bottle offerings and would happily pay corkage to bring in my own offering from the wine rack!


If they ring fence I hope at the same time they:

  1. Enforce a proper salary cap
  2. Reduce games played - and reduce squad size.
    The point of ring fencing is to allow proper investment in the club and to stop all the new money disappearing from the game in player wages. It will hopefully stop the rich clubs trying to force ever larger salary caps with the intention of bankrupting the opposition.
    However ring fencing will also result in loosing a lot of excitement and peril for the premiership clubs (not inconceivable that any of the bottom 8 clubs could be in a relegation scrap this year).
    CVC must want drama to be able to sell the product - removing relegation removes a lot of drama.
    Not sure the RFU will sanction it anyway - and if it’s a true breakaway league from the RFU then issues around refs, insurance, and national caps become quite tricky to sort out.


RFU won’t want to sanction it which will make it harder but CVC and clubs may try to force their hand with threat of breakaway.

RFU may possibly see an upside if they can see that clubs will be inclined to spend more on developing their own English talent rather than relying on foreign signings without fear of relegation.


I dont think there has been any drama as a result of relegation until this year. Normally the bottom club is so far off the pace that they are an irrelevance from about week 4!


Not sure if I’m replying to the right comment or not - still getting to grips with software!
Whilst RFU may see advantages with a supply of English players for the national team they are there also to represent the whole game. They may not want (or be able to allow) to top tier to be isolated from the rest of the clubs.
Also they may also wonder where the value to the wider game will be in Bath playing Bristol in Bahrain (Or Sarries playing Sale in Shanghai!) if that’s where the money men at CVC want to take it.

Anyway - no interesting transfers yet except that Priestland is leaving Bath - I guess a replacement is lined up if they’re announcing he’s off this early.


I agree the RFU wont like it and wont want to sanction it. Question is can the clubs and CVC force their hand with the threat of a breakaway and player development for the national team will be the carrot.

They’d have to give some assurances that there would be opportunity to add new teams to the league subject to finances, stadium capacity etc in due course.

Will be interesting to watch how it plays out.


Of the last 8 teams to be promoted, half have managed to stay up for at least a season which suggests to me a pool of clubs able to at least compete at some level

Plenty of rumours flying around though! Has Hughes to Bristol been confirmed yet? Looks like Daly will be moving. I’d be delighted if Saints signed a front row as well :wink:


There are ways and means of smuggling it in…:woozy_face:



And you’d never get searched… Maybe if you’re a bloke though…:see_no_evil::smile: