Premiership fixtures 2015-16: Saracens face Sale Sharks first

Saracens players
Saracens became the first team to secure the Premiership title having finished outside the top two

Saracens will begin the defence of their Premiership title at home to Sale Sharks on Saturday, 17 October.

Sarries claimed their second title at Twickenham in May by beating Bath, who open their campaign at The Rec against Exeter Chiefs.

Newly promoted Worcester kick off the first round of fixtures on Friday, 16 October at home to Northampton.

Harlequins face Wasps, Newcastle are at home to Gloucester and Leicester go to London Irish in the other openers.

Premiership's opening fixtures
Fri, 16 Oct: Worcester v Northampton Saints (19:45 BST)
Fri, 16 Oct: Harlequins v Wasps (19:45 BST)
Fri, 16 Oct: Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester (19:45 BST)
Sat, 17 Oct: Bath v Exeter (14:00 BST)
Sat, 17 Oct: Saracens v Sale Sharks (14:00 BST)
Sun, 18 Oct: London Irish v Leicester Tigers (15:15 BST)
Full list of Premiership fixtures

The Premiership season usually begins in September but the 2015-16 campaign will start a month later because of the World Cup being played in England.

Last season's Premiership finalists will have to wait until 2016 to face each other again, when Saracens host Bath at Allianz Park on 31 January, before the return fixture on 2 April.

The first East Midlands derby between Northampton and Leicester is on 9 January at Welford Road, while the first West Country derby of the season between Bath and Gloucester is at The Rec on 6 February.

Worcester, who narrowly beat Bristol in the Championship play-offs to secure an immediate return to the top flight, face three clubs who finished in the bottom half of the table - Sale, Gloucester and Newcastle - after starting against Saints.

The annual match between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium is on 16 April, while the pick of the final round of fixtures sees Bath host Leicester, with the Blue, Black and Whites having hammered Tigers 45-0 in the corresponding fixture last season, before then beating them 47-10 in the Premiership semi-finals in May.

All fixtures and kick-off times are subject to change. The BBC is not responsible for any changes that may be made.

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