Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

By Louise Gwilliam and Matt Newsum

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Twas the night before Christmas...

...when all through the Premiership, not a single player, coach or fan was stirring after a thrilling afternoon of rugby.

The good boys at Saracens, Wasps and Exeter hung their stockings knowing they could sleep soundly after a pleasing day's work...

As for the bad lads? They might just find a lump of coal at the bottom of theirs.

Thanks for joining us and for that good deed, we hope you'll be rewarded with some cheer tomorrow as well.

Merry Christmas from us all, and join us again on Boxing Day when we'll no doubt unwrap some more tasty rugby treats.

'We were our own worst enemy'

FT: Saracens 21-6 Newcastle

Dean Richards
Getty Images

Newcastle led twice early on and matched Saracens for much of the game but their inability to turn pressure into points meant they missed out on a losing bonus point and remain eighth in the table.

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards:

"We can moan about the referee's decisions but we had chances that we didn't take. 

"It was disappointing not to get something because we matched them for most of the game."

Exeter 31-10 Leicester

Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of Christmas Eve action but you have to feel for the Leicester fans who've coughed up to watch that, travel and all.

From ground to ground it's a 400 mile round trip, and using a popular search engine map feature it's predicting a three hour, 20 minute journey back.

To the Tigers fans who travelled, I salute you. You've earned a mince pie or 10.

Festive XV

#bbcrugby

All afternoon, we've been asking for your Christmas-themed rugby players. And here's the final XV...

festive
BBC Sport

Full-time

Exeter 31-10 Leicester

As soon as I'd written the last entry, Chiefs turned the ball over. I'm a jinx I'm afraid.

Rob Baxter's handshakes with his coaching team tell the story, Exeter were magnificent in the first-half and blew the visitors away. They're into the top four too.

Thomas Waldrom's double, a penalty try and Ollie Devoto's bonus-sealing score in the second half set the tone.

Tigers only awoke from their slumber in the second 40 with the game arguably gone, and the rumblings and murmurs will again shroud Richard Cockerill after a heavy defeat in the south west.

Exeter 31-10 Leicester

Leicester's enterprise wins them a penalty in range, but Owen Williams clubs the ball into touch instead.

Tigers driving toward the line now...

Two and a bit to go.

'It's good to have Chris Ashton back'

FT: Saracens 21-6 Newcastle

Mark McCall
Rex Features

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has been speaking after Chris Ashton scored on his return from a ban for biting.

"It is good to have Chris (Ashton) back in the team and scoring tries. It wasn't the best game for him to come back for but he got his name on the scoresheet. 

"His attitude in training has been fine. He's been waiting for this chance to play again and now he's keen to get a couple of starts. 

"We now just want to see more of what he's given the club over the last four years.

On Mako Vunipola's injury: "It's not looking good (for Mako) to be honest. He's got to go and see his consultant in four weeks time and then we will determine how long he will actually be out."

Exeter 31-10 Leicester

Exeter, at home, on Christmas Eve, 21 points in front, bonus point already in the bag, still go for the corner from a penalty.

There's a lot to like about the Chiefs... not if you're a Tigers fan obviously.

Exeter 31-10 Leicester

Exeter's linespeed has been suffocating. Summed up by the sight of a swamped Manu Tuilagi unable to build up the momentum to blast through.

Leicester much better in the second period but still 21 points down at this stage. Hefty dent to the points difference.

Try (Kitto)

Exeter 31-10 Leicester

Exeter 31-10 Leicester
Getty Images

Instant response from Leicester. Jack Roberts turned up the afterburners and fended away some scrambling defence before feeding Jono Kitto who has only just come on. Smart try.

Missed conversion again.

Try (Devoto, con Steenson)

Exeter 31-5 Leicester

Exeter 31-5 Leicester
Getty Images

That might just be the finish Exeter needed. Brings up the bonus. 

Had everything, wraparounds, out-the-back flicks and a shuttling finish from the lively Ollie Devoto.

They'll go into the top four for Christmas now.

Exeter 31-5 Leicester
Getty Images

Exeter 24-5 Leicester

Fair to say that Leicester have woken up on the back of that try. Full of beans.

Exeter have a comfortable lead but need to grasp back some field position and possession. All being played at their end of the park.

Try (Thacker)

Exeter 24-5 Leicester

Confusion about the scorer, Harry Thacker was called by the PA man at Sandy Park but it looked like Brendon O'Connor had scored that one for Leicester. Tigers press team have gone for Thacker so that's who I'll go with too.

Came on the back of another surge by the pack from the line-out.

Charged down conversion attempt, a Christmas treat for the purists! Leicester on the board.

Exeter 24-0 Leicester

We've had 15 minutes of the second-half.

Tigers go for the corner again. In the Chiefs 22.

Catch and drive to come. Exeter need to muscle up here if they're to preserve that big, juicy '0'.

Exeter 24-0 Leicester

Exeter 24-0 Leicester
Getty Images

Much better endeavour by Leicester Tigers in the past five minutes.

Exeter still holding them out so far.

They're enjoying a concerted spell of possession.

No try

Exeter 24-0 Leicester

Ed Slater
Getty Images

Leicester go so close! Ellis Genge pops one up from the base of the ruck, a yard out, and Ed Slater rumbled onto it...

...before watching the ball squirm from his grasp in the act of dotting it down. Horror show for the Tigers. Nothing is going their way.

Exeter 24-0 Leicester

Bit better from Leicester. Manu Tuilagi made a line-break. Then a couple of efforts close range before winning the penalty.

They've gone for the corner have the Tigers. Catch and drive to come...

Exeter 24-0 Leicester

The sortie by Leicester on the back of that line-out came to nothing.

Now we've had a scrum reset. Wafts of 'Tomahawk Chop' can be heard from the stands.

All a bit scrappy at the moment. Exeter trying to battle their way out from their own 22 before Will Chudley thumps it away.

Exeter 24-0 Leicester

Manu Tuilagi
Getty Images

Watching Leicester with ball-in-hand, they're very sideways. Someone needs to straighten things up a bit. They've got Manu Tuilagi, they've got some big forwards. But it's been a little too 'crabby'.

Line-out in the 22 though now...

Penalty (Steenson)

Exeter 24-0 Leicester

Exeter 24-0 Leicester
Rex Features

After running the ball, scattering Leicester defenders with slick play, Exeter's move eventually comes to the end but play is brought back for the penalty advantage.

Gareth Steenson knocks these over in his sleep. Nails the kick. 24 unanswered points.

Gareth Steenson
Getty Images

Exeter 21-0 Leicester

Ellis Genge hacks the ball away in frustration as another Leicester move breaks down in midfield.

Scrum head and feed goes to the Chiefs.

Kick-off

Exeter 21-0 Leicester

Chiefs ran out with purpose... and Gareth Steenson whacks the ball downfield for the start of the second half.

Here we go.

HT: Exeter 21-0 Leicester

Bit of Mariah blasting out at Sandy Park. All I Want For Christmas and all that.

Leicester first back out onto the pitch... I doubt they'll be getting what they want for Christmas from Richard Cockerill after that first 40...

"Exeter forward can lead Premiership try-scorers again"

HT: Exeter 21-0 Leicester

Thomas Waldrom's uncanny knack of crashing over the stripe in Exeter colours comes as no surprise to his boss Rob Baxter.

Baxter brought the 33-year-old to Sandy Park in 2014, and been rewarded for that decision with some terrific performances... not mention tries.

Read his thoughts here.

Thomas Waldrom
REX

FT: Saracens 21-6 Newcastle

Chris Ashton
Getty Images

Earlier, Saracens earned a hard-fought win over Newcastle Falcons, with Chris Ashton scoring on his return from a ban for biting.

Read all about that match here.

Has your team made the grade?

Owen Farrell
Rex Features

After the Christmas fixtures, we'll be half-way through the Premiership campaign. A perfect time then, to assess things across the division.

Which teams have earned their presents this Christmas?

Which teams are having a little wobble like lop-sided Christmas tree?

And which teams will be hoping 2017 brings a fresh start?

Read Jeremy Guscott's half-term report on how the 12 clubs have fared so far here.

Festive XV

#bbcrugby

Still some crackers (pardon the pun) coming in for our Festive XV on #bbcrugby

Evan Grant: Finn Russ-Elf  

Ryan Nixon: Josh Navidi-dad

Finn Russell
Rex Features

Half-time

Exeter 21-0 Leicester

Comprehensively done by Exeter in that first-half. Three tries, no points conceded.

Thomas Waldrom enjoyed a terrific first 40 against his old club with two scores - up to EIGHT for the season.

As for Leicester... eeek. What will Richard Cockerill have to say to his players? Wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall there. Paint peeling stuff you'd imagine!

The Premiership's bully boys of old are being bullied themselves.

Full-time

Wasps 40-26 Bath

What a Christmas treat!

Eight tries, 66 points and some sensational rugby.

A brilliant attacking display from both sides and Wasps end 2016 with an unbeaten home record. 18 games, 18 wins.

Wasps 40-26 Bath

Wasps 40-26 Bath
Getty Images

It's been a while since Wasps' fourth try, and they're on the hunt for a fifth before the hooter.

They're inside the Bath 22 but we're coming back for the penalty after a high-tackle from Tom Ellis.

Wasps kick to the corner and they've got just under two minutes to cross the whitewash...

PENALTY TRY (con Steenson)

Exeter 21-0 Leicester

Exeter 21-0 Leicester
Getty Images

Exeter pounding away at the Leicester line once again and when the ball was shifted wide with the line in sight, a desperate Graham Kitchener knocked it on to stop the ball reaching the open Ollie Woodburn.

Kitchener went off for 10, and from the TMO review, Exeter were awarded the penalty try.

No problem for Gareth Steenson. 21 unanswered points. Demolition job.

Wasps 40-26 Bath

Things have turned a bit scrappy at the Ricoh, but after today's efforts, who can blame them?

There are some tired bodies out there in a game which has featured eight tries so far!

Just over five minutes left to play...

Sin-bin (Kitchener)

Exeter 14-0 Leicester

Leicester lock Graham Kitchener has gone off to the bin for a deliberate knock-on...

Exeter 14-0 Leicester

Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter
Getty Images

Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter just appeared in view, looking intently at his laptop.

Changing his fantasy team? Playing a bit of Football Manager? Shopping the early sales?

Either way, his side are doing the business for him.

Festive XV

#bbcrugby

Stuart Rhys Thomas: Taulupe Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-tau 

Louie: Dan Coal (he's on the naughty list)

Any more for anymore?

Try (Tapuai, con Ford)

Wasps 40-26 Bath

Wasps 40-26 Bath
Rex Features

Bath aren't done yet. Ben Tapuai alongside Jonathan Joseph for the first time today, fends off the tackler to secure the try bonus-point for Bath.

George Ford slots the conversion as Bath chase down another bonus point.

Exeter 14-0 Leicester

Tomas Francis just dominated Ellis Genge there to win a penalty at the scrum. That's the kind of thing that never happened to Leicester.

These must be tough times for Tigers fans. Exeter fans are enjoying seeing their team not just playing like the elite, but being the elite.

Penalty (Gopperth)

Wasps 40-19 Bath

But it's that man again. Jimmy Gopperth adds three more points as we enter the final quarter of the match.

Wasps, who have already secured the try bonus-point, will just be trying to deny Bath a losing bonus point now.

Festive XV

#bbcrugby

Steven Gordon: Billy Twelve-days-of-Christmas-Trees

Adrian Williams: Alex Goode King Wenceslas.

Both Steven and Adrian also suggested George North Pole as well.

Got anymore you think could make our side? Use #bbcrugby on Twitter to let us know.

Twelvetrees
Rex Features

Try (Ellis)

Wasps 37-19 Bath

Wasps 37-19 Bath
Rex Features

And there's hope for Bath.

Tom Ellis drives over the line from the line-out the first try of his Premiership career.

George Ford's kick is wide though, and Wasps' still have a 18-point lead.