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Live Reporting

Brendon Mitchell

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    And that draws our coverage of tonight's English top-flight games to a close.

    We'll be bringing you live text commentary on every Friday night Premiership match for the rest of this season, so we hope you'll join us again next week for Newcastle Falcons against Wasps.

    Until then, it's goodnight from us.

  2. The Six Nations is back!

    Ben Youngs

    As much as we've all enjoyed tonight's Premiership action, it's hard not to look forward to the second round of this year's Six Nations, which kicks off tomorrow.

    You can follow live television, radio and text commentary of all three of this weekend's fixtures right here on the BBC Sport website.

    Saturday, 14 February:

    England v Italy (14:30 GMT)

    Ireland v France (17:00 GMT)

    Sunday, 15 February:

    Scotland v Wales (15:00 GMT)

  3. Get involved #bbcrugby

    James Burridge: Safe to say that wasn't a classic. Bath will be licking their lips on that Saints performance. #bbcrugby

  4. Post update

    Premiers table

    Here's what tonight's results mean for the Premiership table.

    As I said earlier, Leicester Tigers have now moved up to fourth with victory over Gloucester, who remain in ninth.

    And leaders Northampton Saints have opened up a five-point gap over second-placed Bath with their win over London Irish, although Mike Ford's side face Saracens on Sunday.

    London Irish, meanwhile, are 10th.

  5. Post update

    FT: Leicester Tigers 18-15 Gloucester

    Leicester v Gloucester

    It was a tale of the tee at Welford Road as Freddie Burns kicked 18 points against his former club as Leicester Tigers ended Gloucester's unbeaten start to 2015.

    Burns and James Hook kicked three penalties each in the first half, while Mark Atkinson's try for Gloucester was disallowed as the teams went in at 9-9.

    Two penalties in the space of 60 seconds saw Leicester move 15-9 ahead before Hook scored two of his own.

    Gloucester's Charlie Sharples saw yellow late on and Burns made it six penalties out of six to seal the win.

  6. Post update

    FT: Northampton Saints 15-9 London Irish

    Northampton Saints

    So, now seems as good a time as any to have a quick recap of tonight's action.

    Premiership leaders Northampton Saints beat London Irish 15-9, but the struggling visitors were able to battle to a losing bonus point at Franklin's Gardens.

    Ken Pisi collected Stephen Myler's kick to put Saints ahead after 28 scoreless minutes, but a Shane Geraghty penalty closed the gap to four points.

    With Exiles forward Tom Guest in the sin-bin, Sam Dickinson was driven over for the decisive Northampton try.

    Two more Geraghty kicks sandwiched a Myler penalty to complete the scoring.

  7. Post update

    Will Leicester Tigers finish in the top four this season?

    Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill tells BT Sport: "We won't get too excited about where we're sat in the table, it's where we are after round 22 that matters. Everybody likes to have a dig at successful sides and we're not playing as well as we'd like and we're not where we'd like to be.

    "But we'll keep battling and we'll keep working as hard as we can."

    Just to remind you, 64.2% of you voted 'Yes' when we asked whether you thought Leicester will finish in the top four of the Premiership this season.

    And, low and behold, with tonight's win they are indeed up to fourth.

  8. Post update

    FT: Leicester Tigers 18-15 Gloucester

    Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill tells BT Sport about Freddie Burns: "I'm delighted for him. He came in tonight and his goal-kicking was very, very good - and that was probably one of the things I'd criticised him for. He knows what to work on, he's embraced that and he's trying to get better."

  9. Get involved #bbcrugby

    So Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers both wrapped up home victories this evening, but what did you make of it all?

    Get in touch via Twitter using #bbcrugby.

  10. Full-time

    Northampton Saints 15-9 London Irish

    Relief at Franklin's Gardens as Northampton Saints just about hold on to secure the points, beating London Irish 15-9 in the end. The Exiles do head back to Berkshire with a losing bonus point, at least.

  11. Post update

    FT: Leicester Tigers 18-15 Gloucester

    Leicester Tigers fly-half Freddie Burns, who kicked all 18 of his team's points, tells BT Sport: "There were still a few errors in there which I'm not too happy with, but I've not played for two weeks so just to get back out there and get the win was the most important thing. I'm just confident in my goal-kicking now and it won us the game in the end."

  12. Post update

    Northampton Saints 15-9 London Irish

    It may be all over between Leicester and Gloucester, but there are still around five minutes remaining down the road at Franklin's Gardens.

    The Saints are ahead, but the Exiles are pressing hard in the closing stages.

  13. Full-time

    Leicester Tigers 18-15 Gloucester

    The hosts do secure the ball, however, and Leicester have indeed edged home.

  14. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 18-15 Gloucester

    But, despite Charlie Sharples' return to the field, they can't make anything of it and Tigers have the put-in at a scrum. The clock ticks red and, barring a disaster at the set-piece, victory is surely Leicester's now.

  15. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 18-15 Gloucester

    Sam Harrison so nearly looks to have broken through at long last but the Cherry and Whites hold firm, and even manage to force the subsequent wave of green shirts into touch. Last chance saloon for Gloucester.

  16. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 18-15 Gloucester

    Leicester are going for the kill now. Replacement Jack Roberts makes his fresh legs count as he breaks a couple of tackles to take Tigers to within 10 metres of the Gloucester line.

  17. Missed penalty (Hook)

    Leicester Tigers 18-15 Gloucester

    But, at long last, a penalty is missed. This one was certainly the hardest of the night so far and in the end James Hook came up well short. Into the final five minutes.

  18. Penalty (Myler, Geraghty)

    Northampton Saints 15-9 London Irish

    Safety first from Northampton's Stephen Myler, as the fly-half chooses a shot at the posts from straight in front and slots over a penalty to extend the gap to nine points between themselves and London Irish.

    But what's this? Back come the Exiles and Shane Geraghty lands a penalty of his own. So it's 15-9 now, around 12 to go at Franklin's Gardens.

  19. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 18-15 Gloucester

    Let's not be too hasty in writing off Gloucester, however. A couple of Leicester forwards are now penalised for failing to roll away at the breakdown and it's another kicking opportunity, all of 55 metres out! James Hook sure is backing himself!

  20. Penalty (Burns)

    Leicester Tigers 18-15 Gloucester

    I think we've already established that these two number 10s aren't going to miss from the tee any time soon, haven't we? Freddie Burns kicks the three-pointer and Leicester edge back in front again.

    Just for good measure, here's another picture of a penalty.

    Freddie Burns
  21. Sin-bin (Sharples)

    Leicester Tigers 15-15 Gloucester

    After Gloucester's Billy Burns kicks for touch from deep inside his own half, Leicester will have a line-out.

    Now, they work the ball from right to left quite nicely. But Charlie Sharples has infringed at the breakdown and, not only will Tigers have a penalty, but the Cherry and Whites wing will be spending 10 of the remaining 12 minutes or so in the sin-bin.

  22. Penalty (Geraghty)

    Northampton Saints 12-6 London Irish

    London Irish respond to Sam Dickinson's try immediately with a Shane Geraghty penalty, his second of the night. That puts the Exiles within bonus-point range, and even though London Welsh are well adrift at the bottom, every point will be gratefully received by 11th-placed Irish.

  23. Get involved #bbcrugby

    Chris Lawton: Good to see @LeicesterTigers giving some of the young lads a run out tonight, important they're given opportunities #TigersLive #bbcrugby

  24. Penalty (Hook)

    Leicester Tigers 15-15 Gloucester

    But it's absolutely magnificent from the Welsh fly-half. It's straight through the posts from long-range and, with 15 minutes left on the clock, we're still no closer to finding out whether one of these sides can grab the bull by the horns.

  25. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 15-12 Gloucester

    Huge credit to the Gloucester defence, however, as they send Leicester further and further back with some relentless tackling.

    And now Sebastian De Chaves has been caught offside after a long, slightly desperate kick forward and James Hook is eyeing up another opportunity from the tee. This looks ridiculously difficult...

  26. Try (Dickinson, Myler missed con)

    Northampton Saints 12-3 London Irish

    It's not a great spectacle but Premiership leaders Northampton won't mind too much - they're in for a second try as the Saints drive over and Sam Dickinson grounds the ball. Stephen Myler missed the conversion but it's now a nine-point lead for the home side.

    London Irish number eight Tom Guest was sent to the sin-bin shortly before that score, so that 60 seconds of action could prove significant.

  27. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 15-12 Gloucester

    Apologies for giving Burns senior a further name-check, but Freddie has just sent another wonderful kick to touch to once again put Gloucester under pressure around 10 metres from their own line. Leicester are firmly in charge at the moment.

  28. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 15-12 Gloucester

    That's frustrating for Gloucester, who knock on just when they think they've turned the ball over. We'll have a scrum pretty much right on the visiting 22-metre line, slightly to the left of the posts as Leicester attack.

  29. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 15-12 Gloucester

    Now the Cherry and Whites are caught offside and Burns will send Leicester to touch. Needless to say, a score here could make all the difference.

  30. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 15-12 Gloucester

    That's a terrific kick from Freddie Burns, from his hands this time. Leicester have decent ball on halfway but the number 10 decides enough is enough and sends a lovely little poke through trickling out into touch.

  31. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 15-12 Gloucester

    A reminder that BBC local radio is providing live commentary of both Premiership matches this evening - to listen, click on the live coverage tab at the top of the page.

  32. Penalty (Hook)

    Leicester Tigers 15-12 Gloucester

    The fly-halves are doing their bit, anyhow. James Hook's kick from range is good and Gloucester reduce the deficit to three points.

    I wonder how many different pictures we have of Freddie Burns and James Hook kicking from the tee?

  33. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 15-9 Gloucester

    And now it's Leicester's turn to give away a penalty at the breakdown! At this rate, ill-discipline is pretty likely to end up deciding which way this match is going to go...

  34. Penalty (Burns)

    Leicester Tigers 15-9 Gloucester

    Freddie Burns

    This is not good from Gloucester, who've just thrown away six points in the space of 60 second-half seconds. Another infringement at the breakdown, another opportunity for Freddie Burns, another good kick from the tee - albeit with a little help from the inside of the post this time.

  35. Kick-off

    Northampton Saints 7-3 London Irish

    Northampton v London Irish

    Back under way at Franklin's Gardens, where Northampton and London Irish have started the second half with 14 men apiece. Salesi Ma'afu and Tom Court will have an extra 10 minutes to get their breath back following a melee just before half-time, for which both were shown yellow cards.

  36. Penalty (Burns)

    Leicester Tigers 12-9 Gloucester

    Of course he can. Leicester edge in front once more.

    A word for poor old Jordan Crane too. He's in the wars a bit here, isn't he? The physio is back on attending to that nasty cut on the big number eight's face.

  37. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 9-9 Gloucester

    And Gloucester give away another penalty, frustratingly for the Cherry and Whites. Can Freddie Burns make it four out of four?...

  38. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 9-9 Gloucester

    A forward pass as Gloucester move forward early in this second period hands Leicester the put-in at a scrum. Referee JP Doyle insists that the two packs "moved too early" so we'll have another crack - and Tigers successfully retain possession.

  39. Kick-off

    Leicester Tigers 9-9 Gloucester

    I'm absolutely convinced those half-time breaks are getting shorter and shorter. Maybe it's just me? Nonetheless, the players are back out again and, before you know it, Freddie Burns kicks long to restart this Friday night tussle at Welford Road.

  40. Get involved #bbcrugby

    James Hook

    Luke: #bbcrugby Hook has been outstanding again. Why Gatland continues to overlook him is beyond me.

  41. Post update

    Will Leicester Tigers finish in the top four this season?

    Richard Cockerill

    I'm sure Richard Cockerill will be pretty chuffed with that ringing endorsement of his side's chances - but they could really do with finding a way to beat Gloucester this evening.

    Heading into tonight's Premiership matches, just five points separated Saracens in third and Sale down in eighth.

    Leicester are somewhere in the middle of that pack in sixth, one point above Sharks.

  42. Half-time

    Northampton Saints 7-3 London Irish

    Northampton v London Irish

    It's level at Welford Road and it's also close at Franklin's Gardens, where Northampton Saints are just four points ahead of London Irish despite having the best of the first 40 minutes there.

    Ken Pisi's try came 28 minutes in, converted by Stephen Myler, while Shane Geraghty responded with a penalty for the Exiles.

    Northampton prop Salesi Ma'afu and London Irish front-rower Tom Court were shown yellow cards in the closing seconds of the half, so both sides will begin the second period with 14 men.

  43. Post update

    Leicester Tigers vote result

    Well, as promised, the results are in and 64.2% of you think Leicester Tigers will indeed finish in the top four of the Premiership this season.

  44. Get involved #bbcrugby

    Leicester Tigers v Gloucester

    What do we think after all of that? Which way is this finely poised contest heading? I, for one, haven't a clue.

    But please do let us know what you think by using #bbcrugby on Twitter.

  45. Half-time

    Leicester Tigers 9-9 Gloucester

    But no, the Cherry and Whites have turned the ball over and that'll be that for the first half. It's been a real battle in the wind and rain at Welford Road - but at the same time, make no mistake, both sides have had chances to touchdown and just not quite taken them.

    It's Freddie Burns 9-9 James Hook at the break.

  46. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 9-9 Gloucester

    Leicester are seriously knocking on the door here, into their 13th phase. George Catchpole has just been brilliantly tackled by Billy Burns in amongst all the mayhem, but still Leicester press...

  47. Penalty (Geraghty)

    Northampton Saints 7-3 London Irish

    After conceding the opening try at Franklin's Gardens, London Irish have responded with a Shane Geraghty penalty following a Northampton infringement at the scrum.

  48. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 9-9 Gloucester

    Can Leicester snatch themselves a try right before half-time? A couple of infringements allows Freddie Burns to kick them up-field and, once again, Tigers are back inside the Gloucester 22.

  49. Penalty (Burns)

    Leicester Tigers 9-9 Gloucester

    And the tale of the tee continues, with Freddie Burns adding his and Leicester's third penalty of the night to equalise.

  50. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 6-9 Gloucester

    Tigers work the ball well and are homing in on the Gloucester line. And, in trying to slow them up, Bill Meakes concedes a penalty and Freddie Burns has a chance to level the scores up once more...

  51. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 6-9 Gloucester

    Now here come Tigers on the attack, into the Gloucester 22 for the first time. Just as they look to spread the play wide, Graham Kitchener over-runs the ball and spills it - but we'll come back for an earlier infringement, and Leicester head for the line.

  52. Try (K. Pisi, Myler con)

    Northampton Saints 7-0 London Irish

    Northampton finally break the London Irish resistance at Franklin's Gardens as Ken Pisi goes over for the first points of the night. Moments after Tom Stephenson misses an excellent chance to score a try, Saints are on the board as Pisi collects Stephen Myler's kick to touch down. Myler nails the conversion from the touchline to give the hosts a seven-point lead.

  53. Post update

    Will Leicester Tigers finish in the top four this season?

    Just a quick heads up that our vote has now closed. We'll bring you the result at half-time.

  54. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 6-9 Gloucester

    What a chance for Gloucester on the counter-attack. Freddie Burns is caught trying to run the ball and, having turned it over, the visitors race forward with decent numbers. But no - a forward pass has cost them! You can't be wasting opportunities like that in these conditions.

  55. Penalty (Hook)

    Leicester Tigers 6-9 Gloucester

    Outstanding work from the Gloucester pack once again, and they'll have a penalty.

    What do we reckon from here then, James Hook? Wowzers, he sure is going to make Leicester pay if they continue to give away penalties - his kick from an awkward angle is superb and the Cherry and Whites lead for the first time.

  56. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 6-6 Gloucester

    Good throw from Darren Dawidiuk, terrific take from Matt Kvesic, but the rolling maul is going nowhere quickly here. Ah, and with a sharp puff on his whistle, referee JP Doyle stops Gloucester in their tracks and it'll be a scrum.

  57. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 6-6 Gloucester

    Leicester, very much on the back-track, give away a penalty and Gloucester head for touch. Jordan Crane has picked up a really nasty looking cut to the face, by the way, and there's a bit of a delay before the line-out while he receives some treatment.

  58. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 6-6 Gloucester

    Gloucester win the ball from the line-out and work it back to James Hook. Now, that's a tidy looking up-and-under from the Cherry and Whites number 10, and Billy Meakes claims it well too. The visitors are on the attack.

  59. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 6-6 Gloucester

    There's going to be some muddy kits to wash after this one, that's for sure. Leicester have the ball around 10 metres from their own line under a bit of pressure, and so Freddie Burns is forced to kick for touch.

  60. Post update

    Northampton Saints 0-0 London Irish

    Almost halfway through the first half at Northampton, where the Saints are being frustrated by lowly London Irish. Far from being outclassed, the Exiles are posing some problems for the reigning champions. Irish's penalty count is rising, but Northampton have yet to make them pay and it remains scoreless.

  61. 10 minutes left to vote...

    Will Leicester Tigers finish in the top four this season?

    A final reminder that you have just 10 more minutes to tell us whether you think Leicester Tigers are going to finish in the top four of the Premiership this season.

    The vote, which you can find on the right-hand side of the page (desktop) or via the tab at the top (mobile and tablet), will close at 20:15 GMT and you can click here to read our voting terms and conditions.

  62. Penalty (Hook)

    Leicester Tigers 6-6 Gloucester

    Goodness me, from all of 47 metres out and in these windy conditions, James Hook absolutely nails the kick. Some strike that is.

    The rain is now beginning to absolutely pound down - and you sense that every point is going to be crucial tonight.

  63. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 6-3 Gloucester

    What a hand-off from Mathew Tait that is, crashing into Billy Burns, who goes tumbling to the floor. Welcome to the match, Burns junior!

    Now the ball finds its way back to Billy's older brother Freddie, but as he boots it forward Leicester are caught offside.

  64. Penalty (Burns)

    Leicester Tigers 6-3 Gloucester

    And, from a slightly tighter angle but closer to the posts than his previous effort, Freddie Burns again lands the penalty and Tigers are back in front.

    It's not all that long ago that Burns was starting the first Test of England's tour of New Zealand. I wonder where he stands in the fly-half pecking order now?

  65. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 3-3 Gloucester

    In the aftermath of the restart, the Cherry and Whites will have themselves a line-out. Now, is Darren Dawidiuk's delivery better this time around? Yes - but Gloucester are penalised at the breakdown that follows and now it's Freddie Burns's turn from the tee again...

  66. Penalty (Hook)

    Leicester Tigers 3-3 Gloucester

    As sweet as you like, Gloucester's Welsh fly-half James Hook calmly splits the posts. It's been a fairly scrappy opening 10 minutes at Welford Road, and it's all square.

    Leicester Tigers v Gloucester
  67. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 3-0 Gloucester

    That's pretty sloppy straight from the restart though, as Gloucester win the ball and, as the rolling maul begins to get going, Sebastian De Chaves is penalised for going in at the side and hands the away side a chance to level things up immediately.

  68. Penalty (Burns)

    Leicester Tigers 3-0 Gloucester

    And, despite the blustery conditions, that's good from Freddie Burns and first blood goes to Tigers.

  69. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 0-0 Gloucester

    That's not too clever from Darren Dawidiuk, his throw hopelessly wayward, and so Tigers have a scrum around 25 metres or so from the Gloucester line. Now, what can the hosts muster here? After a reset, they'll get themselves a penalty, which Freddie Burns will line up...

  70. Post update

    Northampton Saints 0-0 London Irish

    We're also under way at Franklin's Gardens, where the leaders Northampton are hosting London Irish. No score yet but the home side have had the best of the first five minutes.

  71. Post update

    Leicester Tigers 0-0 Gloucester

    Despite securing good ball from the set-piece, thanks to a right old heave-ho from the Gloucester pack, Leicester manage to turn it over moments later and Freddie Burns clears to touch.

  72. Kick-off

    Leicester Tigers 0-0 Gloucester

    And we're under way. Leicester knock-on soon after the kick-off, and so Gloucester have a scrum.

  73. Here come the teams...

    Leicester Tigers v Gloucester (19:45 GMT)

    The players of Leicester Tigers, in their familiar all-green strip, and Gloucester make their way onto the pitch. The visitors are in their red and white hoops, which is handy given I'll be calling them the Cherry and Whites for the next couple of hours.

    It looks a half-decent evening for rugby at Welford Road.

  74. Get involved #bbcrugby

    Of course, you can still get in touch with us using #bbcrugby on Twitter too.

    And you'll also be pleased to know that you can follow live radio coverage of both of tonight's fixtures, from all four local radio stations, by clicking on the Live Coverage tab at the top of the page.

  75. Get voting

    Will Leicester Tigers finish in the top four this season?

    While we wait for the players to make their way onto the field, hopefully you'll forgive us for reminding you about tonight's vote.

    We're asking whether or not you reckon Leicester will finish in the top four this season.

    The vote, which you can find on the right-hand side of the page (desktop) or via the tab at the top (mobile and tablet), will close at 20:15 GMT and you can click here to read our voting terms and conditions.

  76. Team line-ups

    Northampton Saints v London Irish (19:45 GMT)

    Northampton Saints: Wilson; K. Pisi, G. Pisi, Stephenson, Elliott; Myler, Fotuali'i; A. Waller, Haywood, Ma'afu, Manoa, Day, Clark, Dowson (capt), Dickinson.

    Replacements: Williams, E. Waller, Denman, Craig, Harrison, Dickson, Olver, Tuala.

    London Irish: Fenby; Ojo, Mulchrone, Sheridan, Fowlie; Geraghty, Steele; Court, Paice, Aulika, Skivington (capt), Sinclair, Treviranus, Gilsenan, Guest.

    Replacements: Stevens, Halavatau, Palframan, Cox, Narraway, O'Leary, Brophy-Clews, Lewington.

  77. Team line-ups

    Leicester Tigers v Gloucester (19:45 GMT)

    So, with that late switch in mind, here's what we're left with...

    Leicester Tigers: Tait; Thompstone, Catchpole, Bai, Goneva; F. Burns, Harrison; Ayerza, Briggs, Mulipola, De Chaves, Kitchener, Gibson, Salvi, Crane (capt).

    Replacements: Thacker, Rizzo, Balmain, Whetton, Pearce, Mele, Roberts, Benjamin.

    Gloucester: B. Burns; Sharples, Atkinson, Meakes, Purdy; Hook, Robson; Murphy, Dawidiuk, Afoa, Savage (capt), Palmer, Kalamafoni, Kvesic, Evans.

    Replacements: Lutui, Thomas, Knight, Hudson, Moriarty, Braley, Trinder, Reynolds.

  78. Team news

    Leicester Tigers v Gloucester (19:45 GMT)

    Billy Burns

    A late change to the Gloucester team to tell you about - and it sets up an intriguing family confrontation.

    Tevita Halaifonua has dropped out, paving the way for Billy Burns to come in at full-back, with Charlie Sharples moving to the right wing.

    It's Billy v Freddie, according to Gloucester's Twitter account, for the first time!

  79. Cherry and Whites on the charge

    Leicester Tigers v Gloucester (19:45 GMT)

    Gloucester players celebrate

    If 2014 was an unsettling time for Kingsholm folk, 2015 has thus far been anything but.

    Gloucester have recorded six wins out of six so far this year, including Premiership victories over Exeter and Saracens in early January, and another success tonight could inch them towards the top half of the table.

    "Momentum and confidence are massive in rugby, and to have won six from our last six, with two good performances in the LV= Cup, is great for the confidence of the team," head coach Laurie Fisher told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

    "They're bouncing around and enjoying training. There are things to work on but we're taking momentum with us."

  80. Who's in charge around here?

    Northampton Saints v London Irish (19:45 GMT)

    Tom Coventry

    Following Brian Smith's departure a month ago to the day, you may be forgiven for not really knowing who is running the show at the Madejski Stadium at the moment.

    The Exiles acted swiftly in appointing Tom Coventry to replace Smith, but he won't be arriving until the autumn, with commitments with Super Rugby side Chiefs and Samoa to fulfil first.

    Glenn Delaney has instead been placed in interim charge - and Coventry admits that it is "unfortunate" that his role with Irish has been delayed.

    "I've been speaking to Bob Casey, Glenn Delaney and Richard Whiffin, so I know a bit about what they're doing and some of the players," he told BBC Radio Berkshire. "Ideally, I want to be stuck in from day one, but we'll see how it goes."

  81. Team news

    Northampton Saints v London Irish (19:45 GMT)

    Stephen Myler

    Inevitably at this time of year, Premiership clubs often have to make do without their international stars.

    But, fear not, there are still a few on show this evening, with Northampton Saints able to name fly-half Stephen Myler and flanker Calum Clark after their omissions from England's squad to face Italy.

    Phil Dowson, who leaves for Worcester in the summer, captains the side.

    London Irish hooker David Paice returns from suspension, and he is joined in the front row by Tom Court and Halani Aulika.

    Fly-half Shane Geraghty starts against his former club in a half-back partnership with Scott Steele.

  82. Team news

    Leicester Tigers v Gloucester (19:45 GMT)

    George Catchpole

    But that's quite enough about the rest of the weekend, it's time to get cracking with tonight's rugby union.

    Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill will hand a first Premiership start to centre George Catchpole this evening, after his impressive showing in the LV= Cup.

    Vereniki Goneva returns on the wing as Catchpole partners Seremaia Bai in midfield, while Freddie Burns starts at fly-half against his former club.

    Gloucester's Bill Meakes, Dan Robson and Dan Murphy are the only three players to retain their place from last week's win over Harlequins.

    Perhaps most notably, Charlie Sharples returns at full-back after recovering from a leg injury.

  83. Post update

    Wasps v Harlequins (Sunday, 14:00 GMT)

    And in the final match of round 14, Wasps take on Harlequins at the Ricoh Arena.

    Wasps have been going along quite nicely in the Premiership since their move to Coventry, winning three of their last four matches home and away and rising to fourth in the standings.

    However, if they are to stick around in the play-off spots, this is the kind of match they'll want to be winning.

    Harlequins may be down in seventh but, having finished in the top four in each of the last three seasons, going on to lift the trophy in 2012, they've very much been there, done that and worn the 'we are the champions' T-shirt.

  84. No banana skins, please

    London Welsh v Sale Sharks (Sunday, 13:00 GMT)

    Steve Diamond

    Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond says his side "don't want a banana skin" when they visit struggling London Welsh on Sunday.

    In truth, when I say struggling, that might be downplaying it a little bit - Justin Burnell's Exiles have lost 13 out of 13 in the Premiership and, having already accumulated a points difference of -467, are in serious danger of being relegated with the worst record in the history of the top flight.

    This one should be pretty straightforward for Sharks then, right? Not according to Diamond.

    "They're at home, fighting for their lives and they've got a good set of lads who are proud," he told BBC Radio Manchester. "I don't think they're a side to get over-ran these days. We've got to go down and make sure we're accurate."

  85. Post update

    Saracens v Bath (Sunday, 13:00 GMT)

    Ah, yes, just how will the blue, black and whites cope? It must be a real chore having to settle for a midfield containing cross-code stars Sam Burgess and Kyle Eastmond, plus England wing Semesa Rokoduguni, with South Africa's Francois Louw in the back row.

    Either way, director of rugby Mike Ford did tell BBC Radio Bristol that it is "a massive game".

    He said: "They're third, we're second. A win for them will bring them closer to us - but a win for us will take us further ahead."

  86. The tie of the round?

    Saracens v Bath (Sunday, 13:00 GMT)

    George Ford and Jonathan Joseph

    The two-time table-toppers against the young pretenders - Saracens versus Bath at Allianz Park looks every inch the stand-out Premiership fixture of the weekend.

    Mark McCall's Sarries, who have ended each of the last two campaigns at the top of the standings, have not quite been their ruthless selves this season, losing four of their 13 league matches and languishing down in third, nine points adrift of leaders Northampton.

    Bath, meanwhile, may have been out of the play-off picture since 2010, but under Mike Ford they at long last look like they may just add to their six top-flight titles, up in second and hot on the heels of Saints.

    However, with George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Anthony Watson and Dave Attwood all away with England, how will they manage without their crop of up-and-coming international stars?

  87. Post update

    Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons (Saturday, 16:30 GMT)

    Exeter Chiefs celebrate

    In Saturday's only Premiership showdown, Exeter Chiefs host Newcastle Falcons at Sandy Park.

    It's not been the easiest of times for Rob Baxter's side, who started the season like a train but now sit in fifth having not won in the league since humbling Saracens back in November.

    All that said, Baxter's focus has not wavered - he remains determined to get back into the European Champions Cup.

    "As I said at the start of the season, the Premiership is our focus," Baxter told BBC Radio Devon. "We want to get back into the top-flight European competition. That's very important for us as a club going forwards."

  88. Post update

    Before we turn our attentions fully towards tonight's two matches, we're going to have a little look forward to the rest of the weekend's action.

    And, of course, as it's been a little while since the last set of Premiership fixtures, it'll do us no harm whatsoever to remind ourselves what's what with the league table...

    Premiership table
  89. Get involved #bbcrugby

    And don't forget, you can also get in touch with us to discuss tonight's Premiership action by using #bbcrugby on Twitter.

    Can Gloucester make a late charge up the table? Will Northampton cling on to top spot? And can London Irish have a strong finish to the season, despite new boss Tom Coventry not arriving until the autumn?

    So many questions, so little time.

  90. It's time for a vote!

    Will Leicester Tigers finish in the top four this season?

    Leicester Tigers

    Leicester Tigers may well have been one of the dominant forces in English rugby during the last decade, but currently languishing down in sixth they'll need a strong finish to the season if they're going to secure a record 11th Premiership title.

    So we're asking you - will Leicester Tigers finish in the top four this season?

    The vote, which you can find on the right-hand side of the page (desktop) or via the tab at the top (mobile and tablet), will close at 20:15 GMT and you can click here to read our voting terms and conditions.

  91. Post update

    Leicester Tigers mascot

    We have a couple of fixtures from English rugby's top flight to get our teeth stuck into tonight, with Leicester Tigers hosting Gloucester at Welford Road and London Irish paying table-topping Northampton Saints a visit.

    We'll also be looking ahead to the rest of the weekend's domestic matches - and we'd quite like to know whether or not you think the Premiership's most successful side may just be in danger of seeing their incredible run come to an end...

  92. Post update

    So, you quite enjoyed last weekend's rugby union offering, did you?

    The eye-catching tries...

    Dougie Fife

    The shoulder-shuddering hits...

    Alessandro Zanni

    And the heart-stopping finishes...

    England players celebrate

    Well, there's plenty more where that came from, and you needn't wait for the Six Nations to return tomorrow.

    I bring good news - after a four-week absence, the Premiership is back!