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Summary

  1. FT: Bath 19-17 Exeter
  2. FT: Saracens 41-3 Sale
  3. Nine of England's World Cup squad involved
  4. Ford, Watson, George & Goode all start

Live Reporting

By Nathan Middleton and Brendon Mitchell

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all, folks

And that concludes our coverage of Saturday's Premiership action.

You can join us for the third and final part of our live text-and-radio treble header tomorrow, when we'll be bringing you coverage of London Irish against Leicester Tigers from 15:15 BST.

We'll see you then!

FT: Saracens 41-3 Sale

Saracens sending out a message to the rest of the Premiership that they will take some beating this season.

Michael Rhodes, Tom Streather, Will Fraser and two from winger Mike Ellery did the damage today, as well as a floor less kicking display from Charlie Hodgson.

Sale showed glimpses in patches when they had the ball, but there is much work to do for Steve Diamond's coaching team on that showing.

Saracens
Getty Images

FT: Bath 19-17 Exeter

So George Ford returned from World Cup duty to kick 14 points and inspire Bath to an opening-weekend victory.

Exeter Chiefs huffed and puffed and three times crossed the whitewash in that second period only to be held up.

Great entertainment at The Rec from two teams you'd expect to be challenging for the play-off spots at the season's end.

George Ford
Rex Features

FT: Bath 19-17 Exeter

What a pulsating end to what has been a jaw-clenchingly tense match between Bath Rugby and Exeter Chiefs. Bath 19-17 Exeter. #BlueBlackWhite

Full-time

Saracens 41-3 Sale

So five tries in all for reigning champions Saracens who comfortably beat Sale, who only had a Danny Cipriani penalty to show for their efforts.

Sarries dominated at the scrum and line-out and surely can only improve with more internationals to come back into the squad.

The Sharks face newly-promoted Worcester at the AJ Bell Stadium next Friday and will be hoping for an immediate reaction.

Disallowed try

Saracens 41-3 Sale

Perhaps summing up Sale's afternoon, winger Tom Arscott knocks the ball on over the try line completely unopposed.

The referee just check with the TMO that he did.

Saracens 41-3 Sale

Sale enjoying some possession in the closing stages.

A converted score would get them into double figures on what has been a difficult afternoon.

Full-time

Bath 19-17 Exeter

It was indeed drop-goal territory - but Henry Slade's attempt drops short, Bath scramble it out of play and every home supporter inside of The Rec can blow a huge sigh of relief.

The Blue, Black and Whites win on the opening weekend. Just.

Bath 19-17 Exeter

The clock is red, but Exeter come forward through Henry Slade. They're into the Bath half, knocking on the door, is this drop-goal territory?...

Penalty (Ford)

Bath 19-17 Exeter

George Ford lands the kick and Bath are back in front!

Two minutes remain.

Bath 16-17 Exeter

Kyle Eastmond, back on the field after an earlier check to his head, spills it as the home side spread it wide.

However, the Chiefs had infringed earlier in the move, so this time fly-half George Ford will call for the tee...

Bath 16-17 Exeter

Is there a sting in the tail, however? George Ford kicks for touch, Bath secure the ball at the line-out and they're up to Exeter's five-metre line...

Try (Fraser, con Goode)

Saracens 39-3 Sale

A fifth try arrives.

Substitute Will Fraser crosses the try line after some excellent work by the Saracens pack.

Alex Goode takes over kicking duties and slots over.

Saracens 34-3 Sale

A check with the TMO shows that Mark Jennings has not timed a tackle on Chris Ashton correctly and Saracens have themselves a penalty.

Expect the catch and drive from the line-out as they search for a fifth try...

Bath 16-17 Exeter

A few grumbles from Bath's supporters, but we're into the final seven minutes at The Rec and still they trail...

#bbcrugby Whats the point of the TMO when he picks and chooses what to look at? The number of crossings in the build up and not a murmor

Saracens 34-3 Sale

Replacement hooker Dave Porecki makes an immediate impact for Saracens going on a charging run upfield.

As the hosts try to recycle quickly though Sale do just about enough to stop the attack.

Bath 16-17 Exeter

Are Bath heading for an opening-weekend home defeat? The clock is ticking...

69 All getting a bit scrappy now. Ball bobbling around and the first knock on was by Chiefs. Bath scrum at their 10m line 16-17

Bath 16-17 Exeter

Nabil Hassan

BBC Sport at The Rec

Sam Burgess was on the field for just 23 minutes before a yellow card brings a premature end to his game. He'll be lucky to get back on.

Penalty (Steenson)

Bath 16-17 Exeter

And Gareth Steenson lands the penalty. We're into the last 13 minutes, 10 of which Bath will have a man disadvantage, and the Chiefs are back in front!

Saracens 34-3 Sale

Chris Ashton nearly goes in for a fifth try but there is a knock on as they attack.

Can Sale try and get anything from this game to try and boost morale ahead of next week? It has been a chastising afternoon so far for Steve Diamond's men.

Tom Arscott and Mike Ellery
Getty Images

Bath 16-14 Exeter

There's an unbelievable amount of pressure coming from Exeter now. But I commend Bath's defence for holding out, not for the first time this afternoon

Ollie DevotoBath back on BBC Radio Bristol

Bath are walking an absolute tightrope in this match - again Exeter Chiefs are over, but again the ball is held up.

But what have we got here? Slammin' Sam Burgess has been sent to the sin bin for what the monitor suggests is "foul play".

Not an ideal return from World Cup action for the cross-coder...

Bath 16-14 Exeter

But, once again, the Blue, Black and Whites survive the Chiefs charge...

Elation for Bath supporters as Chiefs knock on twice in succession from their lineout, allowing Bath to kick clear.

Try (Ellery, con Hodgson)

Saracens 34-3 Sale

It seemed to be a matter if when not if Saracens got the bonus point and winger Mike Ellery crosses for the second time today.

The former England Sevens man crosses after a clever reverse pass from Ben Spencer. 

The Premiership's top point scorer Charlie Hodgson keeps up his perfect kicking record.

Mike Ellery
Getty Images

Bath 16-14 Exeter

Exeter were playing with an advantage in their pocket, however, so they had back to touch.

Kyle Eastmond is off, by the way, after picking up a nasty knock in defence.

Saracens 27-3 Sale

Sale substitute Mark Jennings goes high on winger Mike Ellery and he is penalised. Saracens kick to touch and have themselves a line-out deep inside the 22...

I think that was an old fashioned high shot - off the ball, around the neck.

Saracens winger Aaron MorrisBBC Radio London

No try (Slade)

Bath 16-14 Exeter

The England centre did indeed drop the ball as he stretched to touched down, so the try won't stand and Bath survive.

We're into the final 20 minutes in Somerset.

Try review (Slade)

Bath 16-14 Exeter

Henry Slade is over and celebrating, but has he dropped the ball? We're heading to the television match official...

Saracens 27-3 Sale

Mike Ellery nearly gets the bonus-point try for Saracens but it was good defence by Sale scrum-half Chris Cusiter to stop him.

Still no points in the second half at Allianz Park yet.

Jamie George
Getty Images

Missed penalty (Slade)

Bath 16-14 Exeter

The you score, we score pattern looks set to continue as Henry Slade lines up a kick from the tee a good 50 metres out - but his attempt falls short and Bath are reprieved.

Saracens 27-3 Sale

24 - @Saracens held a half-time lead of 24+ points for just the sixth time since the start of 2006/07 @premrugby. Eager.

Penalty (Ford)

Bath 16-14 Exeter

George Ford
Rex Features

But the scoreline at The Rec continues to seesaw, as Exeter are penalised at the ruck and George Ford knocks over another penalty to put Bath back in front.

Replacement

Saracens 27-3 Sale

That is Brian Mujati's last bit of action as he is taken off along with Nick Easter. Jonathan Mills and Vadim Colbilas come on.

Saracens show their impressive bench as England prop Mako Vunipola replaces Rhys Gill.

Penalty (Steenson)

Bath 13-14 Exeter

But upon Matt Banahan's reintroduction Exeter win a penalty, which Gareth Steenson sends over to edge the Chiefs back in front.

Another of England's World Cup squad, centre Henry Slade, is on the field now.

Saracens 27-3 Sale

Brian Mujati shows his strength but a burst through the Saracens defence. 

Sale try to work the ball through the phases but the attack eventually comes to nothing.

Bath 13-11 Exeter

Matt Banahan is back on the field for Bath, meaning it's 15 v 15 once more. That 10-minute spell in the bin was certainly not as profitable for Exeter as Rob Baxter would have hoped.

Bath 13-11 Exeter

Nabil Hassan

BBC Sport at The Rec

Sam Burgess
Rex Features

Huge roar as Sam Burgess is introduced. He's absolute box office.    

Saracens 27-3 Sale

When Sale get front foot ball to Danny Cipriani, he always orchestrates things. He's got a fantastic set of hands as Saracens have just seen.

Saracens winger Aaron MorrisBBC Radio London

Penalty (Ford)

Bath 13-11 Exeter

George Ford has the first decisive say of this second period, kicking a penalty after Exeter are penalised for not releasing on the floor.

All the while, Sam Burgess is on for Bath. At flanker, presumably. Watch this space.

Saracens 27-3 Sale

Have Sale had a strong word from Steve Diamond at half-time?

They have enjoyed all the possession at the start of the second-half and instead of kicking for the posts, go to touch for the line-out.

Kick-off

Saracens 27-3 Sale

Danny Cipriani gets us going in the second half at Allianz Park.