Saracens 38 - 19 Wasps (Sunday 08th October)
Bath Rugby 29 - 13 Worcester Warriors (Saturday 07th October)
Exeter Chiefs 34 - 24 Newcastle Falcons (Saturday 07th October)
Gloucester Rugby 29 - 24 Northampton Saints (Saturday 07th October)
London Irish 27 - 28 Leicester Tigers (Saturday 07th October)
Harlequins 42 - 26 Sale Sharks (Friday 06th October)
Wasps 9 - 25 Bath Rugby (Sunday 01st October)
Leicester Tigers 20 - 13 Exeter Chiefs (Saturday 30th September)
Northampton Saints 30 - 22 Harlequins (Saturday 30th September)
Newcastle Falcons 29 - 17 London Irish (Friday 29th September)
The English Premiership, currently known as Aviva Premiership Rugby or more commonly the Aviva Premiership because of the league's sponsorship by Aviva, is a professional league competition for rugby union football clubs in the top division of the English rugby union system. There are twelve clubs in the Premiership. The competition has been played since 1987, and has evolved into the current Premiership system employing relegation to and promotion from the RFU Championship, known as National Division One before the 2009–10 season.
The governing body of rugby union in England, the Rugby Football Union (RFU), long resisted leagues as it was believed that the introduction of leagues would increase 'dirty' play and put pressure on clubs to pay their players (thereby contravening the amateur ethos). Instead, clubs arranged their own friendlies and had traditional games. The only organised tournaments were the County Cups and County Championship — the former played by clubs and the latter by County representative teams. The Daily Telegraph and a few local newspapers — such as the Yorkshire Post — compiled 'pennants' based on teams' performances, but as the strength of fixture lists varied, it was at best an estimate of a team's performance throughout a season.
The league turned professional for the 1996/97 season when the first winners were London Wasps, joining Bath and Leicester as the only champions in the league's first decade. Clubs like Saracens, Newcastle and Northampton were able to attract wealthy benefactors, but the professional era also had its casualties, as clubs like West Hartlepool, Richmond and London Scottish were forced into administration when their backers pulled out.
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