ESPN and Sky Sports have announced their live match selections for the final round of the 2012/13 Aviva Premiership season.
Billed as ‘Super Saturday’, three games will shown on Saturday, May 4, with all of them set to play a role in deciding the semi-final line-up and the final Heineken Cup qualification place.
ESPN’s live cameras will be at the Twickenham Stoop to see if Harlequins can clinch a home semi-final with a win against Northampton, while ESPN Classic will be at Sandy Park as Exeter look to guarantee themselves Heineken Cup rugby with victory over Gloucester.
Sky Sports will screen Saracen’s clash against Bath at Allianz Park with the home side having already a semi-final place while Bath still have a chance of European qualification.
After 21 pulsating rounds the regular season draws to a close with six games on a ‘Super Saturday’ of Aviva Premiership action which will decide the four semi-final spots as well as finalise qualification places for next season’s European competitions.
As it stands, London Welsh will finish at the foot of the table while Saracens will have a home semi-final come the play-offs.
But the exact line-up for the final four is yet to be confirmed and the Heineken Cup qualification picture is also incomplete.
Leicester and Harlequins are also assured of a semi-final berth with the second-placed Tigers currently leading the defending champions by four points.
All Leicester need to do to cement their status is win their final match of the season against London Irish but Harlequins will be hoping they slip up.
Quins look set for a semi-final showdown with Leicester but should they lose to fourth-placed Northampton then the two sides would swap positions with a bonus point win also potentially enough to lift Saints into second.
The battle for fifth and sixth is also yet to be decided with those sides set to come to blows at Sandy Park.
Gloucester hold a three-point advantage over Exeter and if the Chiefs win the match, they will keep their top six place.
However, if they lose and Bath win, with Gary Gold’s men taking on Saracens, then Exeter will drop out of the top six.
But the seventh-placed club could still book a European berth if Saracens went on to claim this season’s Heineken Cup.
All six of the final round games will kick off at the same time – 2.30pm – with three of them live on ESPN, ESPN Classic and Sky Sports.
The remaining games are Sale Sharks v London Wasps, London Welsh v Worcester Warriors and Leicester Tigers v London Irish.
All six matches will feature in ITV’s one-hour highlights programme on Sunday, May 5, presented by Craig Doyle and Martin Bayfield, which goes out at 8.00pm on ITV4 and repeated later on ITV at 11.15pm.
Both semi-finals will be broadcast live with the first of those being shown on Sky Sports – which will be Sky’s last live Aviva Premiership match – and the second on ESPN.
The 2013 Aviva Premiership Final will be exclusively live on ESPN from Twickenham on Saturday, May 25, with highlights on ITV and Sky Sports.
The final will be ESPN’s last televised rugby match as BT Sport takes over exclusive rights to screen Aviva Premiership matches next season. Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio will be one of the new channel’s key pundits and commentators.…
…Round 22/22 Saturday 4th May Harlequins v Northampton Saints Kick-off: 14:30 | LIVE: 1.45pm-4.45pm – ESPN Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Kick-off: 14:30 | LIVE: 2.00pm-4.30pm – ESPN Classic Saracens v Bath Kick-off: 14:30 | LIVE: 2.00pm-5.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Sunday 5th May Rugby Highlights: Aviva Premiership 8.00pm-9.00pm – ITV4 | 11.15pm-12.15am – ITV Semi Finals Saturday 11th May 1st Semi Final Kick-off: 15:00 – Sky Sports Sunday 12th May 2nd Semi Final Kick-off: 15:00 – ESPN Rugby Highlights: Aviva Premiership Semi Finals 8.00pm-9.00pm – ITV4 | 11.15pm-12.15am – ITV Aviva Premiership Final 2013 Saturday 25th May Winner SF1 v Winner SF2 k/o TBC | Exclusively live on ESPN / Highlights on Sky Sports Sunday 26th May Rugby Highlights: Aviva Premiership Final 8.00pm-9.00pm – ITV4 | 11.15pm-12.15am – ITV . .