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Who Will Make the Premiership Playoffs?

The regular Premiership season concludes this Saturday with the 18th and final round of games, determining who will secure a place in the play-offs.

This season’s race for the top four is exceptionally tight, with only 11 points separating the first and seventh places. The last time it was this close was in 2007-08, with a 15-point gap.

Northampton has already secured a home semi-final, and Saracens have clinched a top-four spot. Two more places are up for grabs. Teams level on points after the final round will be separated first by wins, then by points difference.

Northampton: 1st, 60 points, play Bath away

Northampton has led the Premiership for much of this season. Their 90-0 demolition of Gloucester last weekend secured a crucial home semi-final at Franklin’s Gardens. Aiming for their first Premiership title since 2014, Saints need just two points against Bath to secure the top spot. However, the team might rotate their squad for the final game.

“We want to be top of the table,” head coach Sam Vesty told BBC Radio Northampton. “We’re playing now for who wants to show that I should be playing in the next game as well. The competition in our squad is very strong, very healthy.”

Saracens: 2nd, 56 points, play Sale at home

Defending champions Saracens, six-time winners, know how to peak at the right time. Despite off-field distractions, including captain Owen Farrell’s departure and the Vunipola brothers’ upcoming exits, Saracens have looked formidable recently. If they beat Sale, they will finish second. Even a loss might suffice, depending on Bath’s result against Northampton.

“We’re playing our best rugby and probably have got our best team energy at the right time,” director of rugby Mark McCall told BBC Radio London.

Bath: 3rd, 55 points, play Northampton at home

A place in the play-offs for the first time since 2019-20 would crown Bath’s two-year journey under Johann van Graan. They need one point from their final game and could leapfrog Saracens into second place if Saracens lose to Sale. However, Bath faces a formidable Northampton side.

“It’s going to be a difficult one but we’ve got to put our best foot forward and hopefully get a result,” flanker Ted Hill told BBC Radio Bristol. “It’s not so important what they bring – it’s more about what we can do and put out onto the field.”

Sale: 4th, 52 points, play Saracens away

Sale’s late surge has placed them back into the top four at a crucial time. A win against Saracens will secure their spot, but a loss could allow other teams to overtake them.

Exeter: 5th, 50 points, play Leicester away

Exeter needs a bonus-point win over Leicester and some help from other results to make the top four. If Bath loses without a bonus point or Sale loses to Saracens, Exeter could jump ahead.

Harlequins: 6th, 50 points, play Bristol at home

Harlequins need a bonus-point win against Bristol and losses for Sale and Exeter to have a chance at the top four. They have the worst points difference of the contending teams, making a bonus-point win crucial.

Bristol: 7th, 49 points, play Harlequins away

Mathematically, Bristol still has a chance. They need a bonus-point win against Harlequins and losses for both Sale and Exeter. This season marks significant improvement for the Bears, who finished 10th and 9th in the past two seasons.

“We’re in the mix which is a testament to the good work the boys have done all season,” director of rugby Pat Lam said.

Premiership Play-Off Dates

The semi-finals will take place on 31 May and 1 June. Northampton will face the fourth-place team at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday, 31 May, at 19:45 BST. The second-place team will play the third-place team on Saturday, 1 June, at 15:00 BST. The winners will meet in the final at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, 8 June, at 15:00 BST.

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