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Premiership - Rugby Union: Week four preview

Looking ahead to week four of the Gallagher Premiership, there are just two teams with perfect winning records from the first three games heading into this round of fixtures.

There are also two teams still seeking their first victories ahead of some intriguing clashes in England's top-flight.

Top versus bottom at Kingston Park


Newcastle Falcons v Bristol Bears


Kingston Park, Newcastle


19:45, Friday 30th September 2022

How to watch

BT Sport 1


Newcastle 6/4, Bristol 4/7

Two sides who could not have had more contrasting starts, as top-of-the-table Bristol Bears make the long trip to face Newcastle Falcons on Friday evening.

The Bears have hit the ground running in the Premiership this season and the feel-good factor looks to be back in the Bristol camp after a tough campaign last term.

Skipper Ellis Genge has been leading from the front and the England prop looks to be in outstanding form ahead of the upcoming autumn internationals with the Red Rose.

As many anticipated, it has been a tough start to the season for Newcastle and what will be most troubling for director of rugby Dean Richards will be the team's defensive fragility.

The table does not make happy reading for Falcons fans, as Newcastle have conceded 115 points in their first three games.

It does not bode well for Friday night and it would be surprising to see anything other than a high-scoring Bristol victory in this first encounter of Week 4.

Troubling times at Bath


London Irish v Bath


Gtech Community Stadium, London


15:00, Saturday 1st October 2022

How to watch



London Irish 4/11, Bath 11/5 

The other side without a win after the first three rounds are Bath and they will be desperate to get off the mark against London Irish on Saturday.

After a 39-31 defeat on home soil against Wasps last time out, Bath will be eager to pick out the positives from their performance at The Rec.

The Exiles were also on the wrong end of a high-scoring encounter last time out, as they went down valiantly 40-36 at Bristol.

While the result was a disappointment, the performance will give the Exiles plenty of positives to work from for the arrival of Bath to the Gtech this weekend.

London Irish full-back Henry Arundell has made a strong start to the season and once again bagged a try last weekend against the Bears.

England's Arundell is a real star in the making and his pace and trickery is likely to cause the fragile Bath defence all sorts of problems this weekend.

Irish will be confident they can get the job done on home soil while adding even more pressure on the Bath players and coaching team.

Sale poised for Chiefs test


Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs


AJ Bell Stadium, Manchester


15:00, Saturday 1st October 2022

How to watch


OddsSale Sharks 8/13, Exeter Chiefs 11/8

Along with Bristol, Exeter Chiefs are the other side who have three wins from three ahead of their trip to Sale Sharks on Saturday.

After a disappointing Premiership season last term, the Chiefs look to be back with a bang this year and look like serious title contenders once again.

A stunning end to their last game helped Exeter maintain their perfect start as they managed to edge out Harlequins 43-42 at Sandy Park in a Premiership classic.

The Chiefs will have been slightly disappointed they allowed a 31-7 lead at half-time to descend into such a nail-biting contest, but it's still very early days in the season and no side wants to be the finished product at this stage.

While Sale have only played two games, they are also unbeaten, which makes this an intriguing clash in Manchester this weekend.

The Sharks are also looking to be building something at the AJ Bell Stadium and this clash will provide a good acid test for Sale to see how they stack up against one of the best.

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Grand Final repeat excites


Saracens v Leicester Tigers


StoneX Stadium, London


15:00, Saturday 1st October 2022

How to watch

BT Sport 2

OddsSaracens 4/9, Leicester 15/8

Saracens and Leicester will do battle once again after the Tigers managed to edge out the London outfit in the 2022 Premiership Grand Final.

Sarries have enjoyed a perfect start in their first two games, while Leicester have also made a positive start to the campaign with two wins from three.

A defeat to Exeter is the only blot on the Leicester copybook so far and again the East Midlands outfit look to be a force to be reckoned with this season.

After the experience of last season, boss Steve Borthwick is looking to take his side to an even higher level and, while the loss of Genge in the front-row was a blow, the Tigers still look like title challengers this season.

A trip to StoneX Stadium is a good early-season test to see how Leicester are shaping up against a Saracens side bound to be in the play-off picture again this term.

Saints eyeing swift response


Harlequins v Northampton Saints


Twickenham Stoop, London


15:00, Sunday 2nd October 2022

How to watch

BT Sport 1

OddsHarlequins 4/11, Northampton 11/5

After the disappointment of an East Midlands derby defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Leicester, Northampton Saints will be eager to bounce back this weekend.

It certainly won't be easy for the Saints as they make the trip to the Twickenham Stoop to face a Harlequins outfit who themselves will be looking for a response after that narrow defeat at Exeter.

This could be one of the highest-scoring encounters between two sides who love to run the ball and have attacking threats all over the park.

A showdown between England fly-half Marcus Smith and his Wales counterpart Dan Biggar promises to be an intriguing match-up, in what should be another thriller at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday.

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