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Premiership Rugby 2023/24: Dates, teams, history & odds

The 2023/24 season of Premiership Rugby starts this weekend, with ten teams from across England lining up hoping to be crowned champions next June.

It is the first time English rugby's top division has featured just ten teams since 1995/96 following the demise of Wasps, Worcester and London Irish.

But what Premiership Rugby 2023/24 lacks in quantity it will more than make up for in quality with many of the world's best players desperate to help their clubs into the top four and the end-of-season play-offs.

Saracens are the defending champions and 6/4 to retain their title.

Premiership Rugby 2023/24 Dates

The season begins on Friday 13th October when Bristol Bears host Leicester Tigers at Ashton Gate and the regular league season ends on the weekend of 18th-19th May 2024 followed by the play-offs featuring the top four sides.

The semi-final winners will then meet in the Final on Saturday 8th June at Twickenham.

Premiership Rugby 2023/24 Teams

Champions Saracens go to post with a seventh title in their sights but nine high-class clubs to fend off.

Sarries and Harlequins should enjoy a couple of keenly-contested London derbies, though most of the big local rivalries will be happening in the West Country between Gloucester, Bristol, Bath and Exeter Chiefs.

Northampton Saints and Leicester return for another top-flight campaign, as do Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons.

Wasps, Worcester and London Irish have all fallen by the wayside, while Championship winners Jersey Reds were ineligible for promotion.

Premiership Rugby 2023/24 Format

The ten clubs play each other twice, home and away, meaning 18 rounds of fixtures.

The top four sides qualify for the play-offs, with the side finishing first at home to the side finishing fourth in one semi-final and second versus third making up the second semi.

The Premiership season will pause for eight weeks during January, February and March to avoid a clash with the Six Nations.

Are there other highlights during the Premiership Rugby 2023/24 season?

There are, with Round Six of the schedule designated Derby Weekend. Sale play Newcastle and Bath meet Bristol on Friday 17th November, Leicester play Northampton and Harlequins welcome Saracens on the Saturday and the weekend is rounded off by a Sunday shoot-out between Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester.

The Big Game - when Harlequins move from the Stoop for a one-off Christmas special at neighbouring Twickenham - will be on Monday 30th December, with Gloucester their opponents.

And The Showdown - when Saracens do something similar - will see the Tottenham Stadium stage Sarries' clash with Quins on Saturday 23rd March.

How to watch Premiership Rugby 2023/24

TNT Sports will be the home of Premiership Rugby 2023/24, starting with Friday night's season-opener between Bristol and Leicester.

Six league games and the Final will also be screened live on ITV.

Premiership Rugby History

A reluctance throughout English rugby to introduce a league system meant the first Premiership season was not until 1987/88 when Leicester, a side featuring the likes of Dusty Hare, Dean Richards and Rory Underwood, were crowned champions.

Bath won six of the first nine league titles, though have not won any since the last of those in 1996.

Leicester's 11 title triumphs is a record and nine different clubs have got their hands on the Premiership trophy over the last 36 seasons.

Who are the favourites for Premiership Rugby 2023/24?

Champions Saracens are 6/4 to win Premiership Rugby 2023/24 and Owen Farrell's men are going to be hard to dislodge.

Head coach Mark McCall has won six league titles and three Champions Cups in just over a decade in charge of the London club and will be determined to ensure standards do not drop at the StoneX Stadium.

Sale Sharks, beaten finalists in May, are 7/2 to go one better and claim just a second league title, while 11-time winners Leicester are 5/1.

Harlequins, winners in 2020/21, are 8/1, chances while last season's Premiership Cup winners Exeter are priced at 12/1.

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