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Summary

  1. Wasps' Nathan Hughes sent off for late knee on George North
  2. North scores two tries before being stretchered off
  3. Christian Wade with hat-trick for Wasps
  4. Saints 14 points clear at top of Premiership
  5. VOTE: How far will England progress in the 2015 World Cup?

Live Reporting

By Brendon Mitchell

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. We've gone try-crazy again

    Jim Mallinder

    I kicked this live text commentary off by jokingly suggesting that the climax to the Premiership season could live up to last weekend's incredible Six Nations finale. Ten tries, 82 points and a red card later, perhaps the joke's on me?

    Nonetheless, we have five more top-flight fixtures to bring you this weekend, which you can listen to live radio commentary of on this very website.

    Thanks for joining us and we'll see you very soon.

  2. Recap

    FT: Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    Ahsee Tuala

    Even the second half looked far from straight forward when Christian Wade completed his hat-trick to peg Northampton back to 33-30.

    But, as champions do, the Saints pulled away in some style, running in three tries in the final nine minutes to put the game to bed once and for all.

    Samoan replacement Ahsee Tuala even helped himself to his first two Premiership tries - the second thanks to a stunning, diving finish under pressure in the corner.

    Northampton Saints have now stretched their lead at the top to 14 points. Insurmountable?

  3. Recap

    FT: Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    George North

    Although Northampton's eventual margin of victory was comfortable enough, the opening period was anything but.

    An Alex Lozowski-inspired Wasps had led 20-8 after 34 minutes thanks to a couple of tries from England wing Christian Wade.

    But, following North's second try, and subsequent red card for Nathan Hughes for dangerous play, Saints turned the screw and by half-time led 27-20.

  4. Get involved #bbcrugby

    How far will England progress in the 2015 World Cup?

    Charlie Parkes: England missed several key players during the six nations whilst the Welsh had a full squad. Wales should concerned not England

    Mike McCoy: How many SH voters, let alone Welsh, Scottish, Irish skewed that vote, out of group stage and defo finalists

  5. Vote results

    How far will England progress in the 2015 World Cup?

    Chris Robshaw

    In our vote earlier, we asked how you think England would fare at the 2015 World Cup.

    It seems a lot of you think it will be semi-final heartache for Stuart Lancaster's men, with that option securing 34.9% of the vote.

    Anyone fancy a repeat of 2003? Well, 17.9% think England will be lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy towards the end of the year, while 16.2% believe they will fail to get out of their group.

    Only about six months left to wait and find out if you were right. The full results are at the top of the page.

  6. George North update

    FT: Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder told BT Sport: "He's come round. He clearly took a bang straight to the head but he came round and he sat up in the changing room and even managed to have a little sing-song.

    "We'll look after him and hopefully he'll be okay for next weekend."

    Northampton Saints and Wales fans can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Great news.

  7. Post update

    FT: Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    Wasps director of rugby Dai Young told BT Sport: "They're a quality team, you can't switch off at any occasion. I'm really proud of our players, I thought they gave everything. And I thought the scoreline was a bit harsh and a bit unkind on us too - but that's rugby."

  8. Post update

    FT: Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    On the subject of that red card incident, we've still not heard any more on Northampton wing George North's injury - but do stick with us and we'll bring you any updates we get hold of.

  9. Post update

    FT: Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    Northampton Saints lock Tom Wood told BT Sport about Nathan Hughes' red card for dangerous play: "From where I was stood it didn't look malicious but at the end of the day you've got to be in control of your legs. You can't be swinging them around near people's heads."

  10. Post update

    FT: Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    Northampton Saints lock Tom Wood told BT Sport: "It's difficult against 14 men, strange things can happen. They're still dangerous even with 14 - but we think our set-piece, our power up front and the weight of the crowd told in the end."

    "It was a bit of a circus of a game."

  11. Full-time

    Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    Ah, it turns out they are done. Replacement Dominic Waldouck's grubber through drifts out of play and the final whistle goes. What an incredible rugby match.

  12. Post update

    Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    This is chaos. Saints win a penalty and they head straight down the middle. The clock is red but Northampton are far from done.

  13. Post update

    Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    Into the final minute or so and this is starting to play out more like a sevens match. Northampton have opened right up, looking for an eighth try of the evening.

    Who'd have seen that coming at 20-8 down just before half-time?

  14. Try (Tuala, missed con Myler)

    Northampton Saints 52-30 Wasps

    Northampton are running riot now - and Samoan Ahsee Tuala has produced an amazing finish for his second try in three minutes!

    The ball is worked to the left again but the 25-year-old is under real pressure as he heads for the corner. That won't stop him though - just as he looks to be heading for touch, he dives in the air, gets his body off the ground and the ball down before he lands. Brilliant.

    The missed conversion from Stephen Myler matters little.

  15. Try (Tuala, con Myler)

    Northampton Saints 47-30 Wasps

    Well, that really will be that for the home side. Saints win a penalty down in the right-hand corner, which Stephen Myler takes quickly and kicks across field for Ahsee Tuala to latch onto for his first-ever Premiership try.

    And, with that conversion, Stephen Myler moves above Paul Grayson in Northampton's all-time leading Premiership points-scorers' list too. Bravo.

  16. Post update

    Northampton Saints 40-30 Wasps

    Surely that will be that for Northampton Saints? They already have the bonus point wrapped up with room to spare, so victory tonight will take them 14 points clear of second-placed Exeter.

  17. Try (K. Pisi, con Myler)

    Northampton Saints 40-30 Wasps

    And, following collision after collision, Northampton see the space that has opened up out wide and pick out Ken Pisi, who goes over from close range.

    Stephen Myler converts and the lead is 10 again.

  18. Post update

    Northampton Saints 33-30 Wasps

    Northampton are on the charge straight from the restart, responding exactly how you'd expect champions to respond. They're one metre short...

  19. Try (Wade, con Lozowski)

    Northampton Saints 33-30 Wasps

    Christian Wade

    That's a really excellent try. Wasps turn the ball over at the scrum and, through the hands of Alex Lozowski and Elliot Daly, work it over to Christian Wade, who cuts inside to finish for his hat-trick.

    Lozowski converts and it's game well and truly on for the 14 men of Wasps.

  20. Post update

    Northampton Saints 33-23 Wasps

    Wasps are on the attack again but Ashley Johnson knocks on at the back of a ruck and then slams the ball down in frustration, to ironic cheers from the Saints crowd. We'll have a scrum.

  21. Missed penalty (Daly)

    Northampton Saints 33-23 Wasps

    Now it's Wasps' turn for a shot at goal, and Elliot Daly is the man they turn to for these long-rangers. It drifts wide though.

  22. Penalty (Myler)

    Northampton Saints 33-23 Wasps

    It's another good kick from Stephen Myler and Northampton have put breathing space between themselves and Wasps.

  23. Post update

    Northampton Saints 30-23 Wasps

    And ill-discipline is going to do Dai Young's side no favours whatsoever. Wasps concede a penalty for going in at the side at the breakdown and Stephen Myler will have another shot at goal. Meanwhile, England forward Courtney Lawes makes way for Jon Fisher.

  24. Post update

    Northampton Saints 30-23 Wasps

    Full credit to Wasps, they're still clinging in there. But it's hard work as they go through 10 phases without really ever breaking the line, still just inside their own half.

    Now Elliot Daly dinks a little kick through but Northampton recover and counter.

  25. Vote

    How far will England progress in the 2015 World Cup?

    Our vote has now closed. We'll bring you the results after full-time of the Northampton Saints v Wasps match.

  26. Penalty (Myler)

    Northampton Saints 30-23 Wasps

    And Wasps can hold out no longer, giving away a penalty right in front of the posts which Stephen Myler slots with ease. The gap is back to seven points.

  27. Post update

    Northampton Saints 27-23 Wasps

    Northampton are turning the screw now, really knocking on the door. Wasps do clear their lines temporarily, kicking the ball away from behind their own line, but it's wave after Saints wave...

  28. Post update

    Northampton Saints 27-23 Wasps

    After all of that, Saints have the first scrum of this second half and win a penalty from it. Stephen Myler kicks to touch.

  29. Post update

    Northampton Saints 27-23 Wasps

    The opening period of this second half has been rather more sedate than the first 40 minutes. A Wasps player is down injured at the moment, so there's a temporary break in play.

  30. Get involved #bbcrugby

    How far will England progress in the 2015 World Cup?

    Tommy Roberts: On home soil, the only teams I'd fear are New Zealand and South Africa. England should beat everyone else. Semis at least.

    Our vote closes at 21:15 GMT, so time is running out to have your say!

  31. Penalty (Lozowski)

    Northampton Saints 27-23 Wasps

    On the pitch, meanwhile, Northampton have given away a penalty inside their own half and Alex Lozowski has reduced the arrears to four points once more.

  32. George North update

    Northampton Saints 27-20 Wasps

    George North

    Various reports, including on BBC Radio Northampton, are suggesting that Northampton Saints wing George North is awake in the dressing room. We're still waiting on an official line from the club.

    If you're joining us late, he was stretchered off at the end of the first half following a collision with Wasps forward Nathan Hughes.

    Hughes was sent off for dangerous play.

  33. Kick-off

    Northampton Saints 27-20 Wasps

    Here we go then. Stephen Myler kicks the ball long and Northampton Saints get us under way in this second half.

  34. Listen live

    HT: Northampton Saints 27-20 Wasps

    As we wait for the carnage to resume, don't forget that live commentary continues on BBC Radio Northampton and BBC Coventry & Warwickshire - both are available by clicking on the 'Live Coverage' tab.

  35. Get involved #bbcrugby

    How far will England progress in the 2015 World Cup?

    John McEnerney: Can see England not getting out of the pool, Wales won't make the same mistakes again v England and Michael Cheika will have Australia firing come World Cup time.

  36. Vote

    How far will England progress in the 2015 World Cup?

    A quick reminder that, in amongst the absolute mayhem at Franklin's Gardens, we're also asking you how far England will progress in this year's World Cup.

    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 21:15 GMT and you can click here to read our voting terms and conditions.

  37. Post update

    HT: Northampton Saints 27-20 Wasps

    On 34 minutes, Alex Lozowski's penalty put Wasps 20-8 in front.

    Six minutes later, at half-time, Dai Young's side trail 27-20 and are down to 14 men following Nathan Hughes' red card.

    Bonkers.

  38. Half-time

    Northampton Saints 27-20 Wasps

  39. Try (Corbisiero, con Myler)

    Northampton Saints 27-20 Wasps

    This is absolutely remarkable. What has happened to Wasps? The rolling maul is as formidable as ever and Alex Corbisiero is the man to touch down under a pile of bodies. Stephen Myler converts and, somehow, Northampton lead by seven at the break.

  40. Post update

    Northampton Saints 20-20 Wasps

    But Wasps fly-half Alex Lozowski, excellent so far, elects to kick the ball clear, allowing Northampton to return it with interest and win a penalty at the breakdown.

    Stephen Myler heads for touch as Saints look to turn up the heat...

  41. Post update

    Northampton Saints 20-20 Wasps

    Wasps will be grateful to have the ball back in hand here, albeit inside their own half. They'll be glad to hear the half-time whistle.

  42. Try (Penalty, con Myler)

    Northampton Saints 20-20 Wasps

    A disaster for Wasps. The restart is spilled straight out of play, Northampton have the line-out, work the rolling maul and get themselves a penalty try. An unbelievable two minutes or so of game-time for the visitors.

    Stephen Myler this time converts and we're all square at the Gardens.

  43. Post update

    Northampton Saints 13-20 Wasps

    For the record, Stephen Myler has finally taken his conversion and drifted it wide of the posts. Game on again.

  44. Post update

    Northampton Saints 13-20 Wasps

    The 22-year-old is, at last, lifted onto a stretcher and carried off to rapturous applause. His two tries have got Northampton back in this contest but, of course, the primary concern is for George North's welfare. We'll bring you any updates as soon as we get them.

  45. Post update

    Northampton Saints 13-20 Wasps

    All the while, George North is still down in the corner receiving treatment. This is turning into a long delay.

    Of course, there was some attention surrounding North following Wales' Six Nations opener against England, in which he took a couple of knocks to the head. Fingers crossed it's nothing too serious here.

  46. Red card (Hughes)

    Northampton Saints 13-20 Wasps

    It's a red card for Nathan Hughes! What a big call that is from the referee.

    The big number eight argues his case as he trudges off, but it'll count for little. Wasps are down to 14 men.

  47. Try (North, missed con Myler)

    Northampton Saints 13-20 Wasps

    George North

    Northampton Saints are back in it, and it's George North again! The ball is kicked long, brilliantly offloaded to North, who shimmies and then slides over.

    Now, North has been caught late here by the knee of Nathan Hughes as he crossed the whitewash. The Wales winger looks in a fair bit of trouble. And was it an intentional blow? The television match official is going to have a look...

  48. Penalty (Lozowski)

    Northampton Saints 8-20 Wasps

    And he splits them with relative ease. Ice cool from Alex Lozowski.

  49. Post update

    Northampton Saints 8-17 Wasps

    Dylan Hartley is putting poor Craig Maxwell-Keys under so much pressure here, the Northampton captain constantly in the referee's ear.

    It's not doing the hooker many favours though, as the away side win a couple of penalties in quick succession, the latest for offside.

    Alex Lozowski will go for the posts...

  50. Post update

    Northampton Saints 8-17 Wasps

    But he's just won them back over again by awarding Northampton a penalty as they turn the ball over just a couple of metres from their own line.

    This has been non-stop, a great watch.

  51. Post update

    Northampton Saints 8-17 Wasps

    The young referee is not endearing himself to the Franklin's Gardens crowd here. George North is adjudged to have put a high tackle in on Christian Wade - though you could argue their height differential makes it quite hard not too.

    Nonetheless, Wasps head for the corner and are on the attack.

  52. Penalty (Myler)

    Northampton Saints 8-17 Wasps

    And, eventually, one of those infringements will result in some Northampton Saints points. Stephen Myler slots the simplest of chances from right in front of the posts and reduces the deficit to nine.

  53. Post update

    Northampton Saints 5-17 Wasps

    Wasps do earn themselves some respite, turning the ball over, but a couple of infringements later and Northampton are in possession and knocking on the door once more. They're around eight metres from the Wasps line here.

  54. Post update

    Northampton Saints 5-17 Wasps

    His good work has allowed Saints to make their way up the field, too, and they now have a line-out of their own deep inside the Wasps half.

  55. Post update

    Northampton Saints 5-17 Wasps

    That's excellent from George North, however, winning Northampton a penalty at the breakdown after planting himself brilliantly over the ball. That boy is difficult to shift.

  56. Post update

    Northampton Saints 5-17 Wasps

    Everyone is going Wasps' way here. A poke through from Rob Miller flicks off a Northampton hand before going to touch, and so the visitors have a line-out deep in enemy territory.

  57. Try (Wade, con Lozowski)

    Northampton Saints 5-17 Wasps

    Christian Wade

    What was it I was just saying about Alex Lozowski? Well, it turns out he's just as handy with ball in hand as he is with his boot.

    The youngster puts on the after-burners around 15 metres out to break the line, before feeding Christian Wade to slide over in the corner. The television match official has a little look but the England wing got the ball down without a problem.

    It's an excellent conversion from a tight angle too. What a first quarter from Wasps.

  58. Post update

    Northampton Saints 5-10 Wasps

    I can't imagine the penalty count is looking too hot for Northampton at the moment. Scrum-half Lee Dickson is caught offside now and Wasps head for touch. The line-out is good and the rolling maul is on...

  59. Post update

    Northampton Saints 5-10 Wasps

    Alex Lozowski has started quite nicely here, putting a couple of smart kicks from hand in too. He finds touch to force Northampton back into their own half, but the line-out is good and they clear up field.

  60. Penalty (Lozowski)

    Northampton Saints 5-10 Wasps

    This has been a frantic start. It's really sloppy from Northampton straight from the restart, giving away a penalty and allowing Alex Lozowski another kick at goal.

    It's two from two for the 21-year-old, stepping in for the injured Andy Goode tonight. Wasps are ahead by five.

  61. Try (North, missed con Myler)

    Northampton Saints 5-7 Wasps

    George North

    To the corner it is. Now, Saints have worked the line-out nicely too and Stephen Myler has space to look up and pick an option. And what an option it is!

    The England fly-half swings a wonderful, pinpoint switch-kick across to the left-hand side and George North strolls over. Absolutely magnificent from Myler, making a difficult skill look ridiculously simple.

    He misses the conversion but, nonetheless, his piece of quality has Northampton immediately back in the match.

  62. Post update

    Northampton Saints 0-7 Wasps

    A hush has fallen upon Franklin's Gardens - the Northampton fans are stunned by that counter-attacking try.

    Their team do now have the put-in at the first scrum of the match, however, and they win a penalty too. To the corner or to the posts?

  63. Try (Wade, con Lozowski)

    Northampton Saints 0-7 Wasps

    Goodness me. In the blink of an eye, Dai Young's side turn the ball over and go in front.

    Nathan Hughes is the man at the bottom of the ruck, hustling for the ball and stealing it brilliantly. Then scrum-half Joe Simpson immediately sees space wide right, works it to Christian Wade and the little winger runs it in from long range.

    The ultimate sucker punch. Wasps lead.

  64. Post update

    Northampton Saints 0-0 Wasps

    Saints are into the Wasps 22 now. The ball is worked out to George North, fresh from his hat-trick for Wales against Italy last week, and the crowd immediately cheer in anticipation. He's snuffed out, but still Northampton come forward...

  65. Post update

    Northampton Saints 0-0 Wasps

    The home side enjoy some early possession, with Tom Stephenson making a mini-break on halfway, before a Wasps player is caught offside and Stephen Myler kicks for touch.

  66. Kick-off

    Northampton Saints 0-0 Wasps

    Referee Craig Maxwell-Keys, at the tender age of 24, gets only his third-ever Premiership match under way with a puff of the whistle.

    Wasps fly-half Alex Lozowski kicks long, Saints number 10 Stephen Myler returns and we're up and running.

  67. Starting soon

    Here come the teams. First Wasps stride out, in their all-white change strip this evening, quickly followed by Northampton in their familiar home colours.

  68. Listen live

    As kick off fast approaches, let me also remind you that you can listen to full, uninterrupted live radio coverage of tonight's Premiership fixture - from both BBC Radio Northampton and BBC Coventry & Warwickshire - via the aptly-named 'Live Coverage' tab at the top of this page.

  69. Get involved #bbcrugby

    And on that subject, a quick reminder that you can also get in touch with us using #bbcrugby via Twitter.

  70. Vote

    How far will England progress in the 2015 World Cup?

    Away from this evening's action, we're also asking you how far you think England will progress in the 2015 World Cup.

    Will Stuart Lancaster's troops squeeze out of a group containing Australia and Wales? Can they make home advantage count and go all the way to the final? Perhaps even lift the trophy?

    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 21:15 GMT and you can click here to read our voting terms and conditions.

  71. Haskell missing for Wasps

    Northampton Saints v Wasps (19:45 GMT)

    James Haskell

    Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has been explaining why captain James Haskell has not been included tonight.

    The 29-year-old forward started all five of England's matches during the Six Nations, which reached its climax last weekend.

    "We're really proud of what he's achieved but, with a Friday game, it doesn't really give you enough time to integrate him back into what we're doing, having been away since just after Christmas," said Young.

    "Hopefully, by giving him a break for this one match, he'll be able to give even more for the remaining four or five games of the season."

  72. Team line-ups

    Northampton Saints v Wasps (19:45 GMT)

    Wasps: Miller; Wade, Daly, Downey, Tagicakibau; Lozowski, Simpson; Mullan (capt), Shervington, Cittadini, Cannon, Myall, Johnson, Young, N. Hughes.

    Replacements: McIntyre, Swainston, Gaskell, Jackson, Thompson, Weepu, G. Hughes, Helu.

  73. Team line-ups

    Northampton Saints v Wasps (19:45 GMT)

    Northampton Saints: Wilson; K. Pisi, G. Pisi, Stephenson, North; Myler, Dickson; Corbisiero, Hartley (capt), Ma'afu, Lawes, Day, Wood, Clark, Manoa.

    Replacements: Haywood, Waller, Denman, Dickinson, Fisher, Fotuali'i, Waldouck, Tuala.

  74. Team news

    Northampton Saints v Wasps (19:45 GMT)

    Tom Wood, Courtney Lawes, Dylan Hartley

    Northampton Saints have the luxury of welcoming back a host of players from Six Nations duty, including England trio Tom Wood, Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley.

    George North, who scored a first Test hat-trick for Wales against Italy last week, also features.

    England number eight James Haskell, however, is rested by Wasps for the visit to Franklin's Gardens.

    Andy Goode also misses out because of an ankle injury, so Alex Lozowski starts at fly-half.

  75. Post update

    London Welsh v Bath (Sunday, 14:30 GMT)

    Kyle Eastmond

    As I've already mentioned, London Welsh could well be down by the time they take on Bath at the Kassam Stadium in the final Premiership match of the weekend.

    If they do indeed still have something to play for, they might just be buoyed by Mike Ford's decision to rest his fleet of England internationals.

    Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, George Ford and Dave Attwood are all absent for the Blue, Black and Whites - but the Exiles do still have the likes of Sam Burgess, Semesa Rokoduguni and Kyle Eastmond to contend with.

    "We'll show Welsh a lot of respect but hopefully we'll get the win," Eastmond told BBC Radio Bristol.

  76. Happy 300th appearance, Mark

    Sale Sharks v Gloucester (Sunday, 14:00 GMT)

    Mark Cueto

    On Sunday, Sale Sharks will be desperate to reignite their play-off bid with a victory at home to inconsistent Gloucester.

    Fly-half Danny Cipriani returns from England duty, while prop Ross Harrison, lock Andrei Ostrikov and number eight Josh Beaumont come into the pack.

    A word too for retiring winger Mark Cueto, who will make his 300th career appearance against Gloucester.

    The Cherry and Whites, currently ninth in the table, welcome back internationals Billy Twelvetrees and Richard Hibbard.

  77. Post update

    Saracens v Harlequins (Saturday, 15:15 GMT)

    Mike Brown

    Harlequins will be without full-back Mike Brown, however, after the 29-year-old experienced concussion symptoms following England's Six Nations win over France.

    Brown felt dizziness at the start of the week and has been stood down until the Premiership game with Gloucester on 11 April at the earliest.

    He was knocked unconscious during England's match with Italy in the Six Nations and subsequently missed the defeat by Ireland, before returning against Scotland.

    Quins do welcome trio Chris Robshaw, Joe Marler and Nick Easter back from international duty though, while Billy Vunipola returns at number eight for Saracens.

  78. Post update

    Saracens v Harlequins (Saturday, 15:15 GMT)

    Wembley

    If we can call the match at Welford Road our Saturday appetiser, then there's no doubt about the main course.

    An attendance in the region of the high 80,000s is expected at Wembley Stadium for the match between Saracens and Harlequins, which would break the current world record attendance for a club rugby match.

    That milestone, of 83,889, was set in the corresponding fixture last year, when Sarries beat Quins 39-17 at Wembley.

    And I promise not to bother with any more food-related puns.

  79. Post update

    Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

    Matthew Lewis

    On a weekend of tasty-looking fixtures, second-placed Exeter's trip to fifth-placed Leicester could shape up to be as scrumptious as any.

    These two are relatively familiar foes too, having met at Welford Road in the LV= Cup only a couple of weeks ago, a contest the Chiefs won 30-22. But what bearing will that have on tomorrow's match?

    Tigers boss Richard Cockerill insisted to BBC Radio Leicester: "They will be full of confidence having won here a couple of weeks ago, but they were different circumstances."

    Meanwhile, Exeter counterpart Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon: "It's a double-edged sword, our win there. Yes it gives us some confidence in that we've been to Welford Road recently and won, but you could also say it stings them a little bit and they've been brooding for the last two weeks."

    No idea, then.

  80. Post update

    London Irish v Newcastle Falcons (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

    London Irish fan

    You could be forgiven for looking at this match, between the teams languishing in 10th and 11th but miles clear of the drop, and writing it off as a bit of a dead rubber.

    You would be a little hasty to do that, however.

    For starters, you can't imagine London Irish, hosting their annual St Patrick's Party at the Madejski Stadium, will want to lose in front of what is likely to be their biggest turn-out of the season.

    And for Newcastle, no doubt hoping to avoid finishing 11th for a second successive campaign, the task of putting London Welsh out of their misery looks to have fallen to them.

    If the Falcons win tomorrow, the Exiles' relegation will be confirmed.

  81. Post update

    As we head into round 18 then, let's have a little look at who's playing who this weekend...

  82. Get involved #bbcrugby

    Northampton Saints: Gotta love those #FridayNightLights

    Franklin's Gardens
  83. How it stands...

    Premiership table

    Here's a reminder of how things are shaping up in the table, by the way.

    It sure is tight at the top, isn't it? Northampton Saints have given themselves a wee bit of breathing space, but it's going to be a real scrap for the remaining play-off places. Remember, the top four all qualify for the end-of-season shoot-out.

    Who's your money on?

  84. Let's get down to business

    Northampton Saints v Wasps (19:45 GMT)

    Jim Mallinder

    As I alluded to a few moments ago, with only five Premiership matches remaining and the knock-out stages of the European competitions soon upon us, we're now very much heading towards crunch time for those competing for honours.

    And that's certainly the way Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder sees it too.

    "As soon as the Six Nations is over, you'll see the sun coming out, the pitches hardening up and you do sense this is now the run-in until the end of the season," Mallinder told BBC Radio Northampton.

    "This is where we need to pick it up, win our next few games and see if we can get a home semi-final."

  85. Get involved #bbcrugby

    How far will England progress in the 2015 World Cup?

    Of course, you can let us know what you think about that, or anything else rugby-related for that matter, by using #bbcrugby on Twitter.

  86. Vote

    How far will England progress in the 2015 World Cup?

    Stuart Lancaster

    Before we get stuck into all of that, however, I have news of a vote to bring you.

    With England having now played their last competitive Test before they face Fiji in 175 days' time, now seems as good a time as any to ponder just how far they can go in the World Cup.

    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 21:15 GMT and you can click here to read our voting terms and conditions.

  87. It's the final countdown

    Okay, I'll concede, it's probably a bit far fetched to expect the conclusion of this year's Premiership to live up to the drama of last weekend.

    But, let me tell you, it's shaping up to be some finale to the top-flight season and, with the international boys back in town, the countdown very much starts here.

  88. The day of days

    Sam Warburton

    One topsy-turvy, epic day of rugby union; 240 minutes of gruelling, free-flowing action; three determined teams all hoping to be crowned 2015 Six Nations champions.

    Joe Marler

    Former England and British & Irish Lions scrum-half Matt Dawson said on BBC Radio 5 live that it was "the best day of international rugby ever". A bold claim.

    Ireland

    Our chief sports writer Tom Fordyce described it simply as "a day to fall back in love".

    Well, ladies and gentlemen, may that love blossom...