Worcester Warriors and Sale Sharks will kick off the brand new Premiership Rugby Cup competition when it is launched on Friday, 26th October.
Involving the 12 Gallagher Premiership Rugby clubs, and with total prize money of more than half a million pounds, the Premiership Rugby Cup will be played over four pool rounds, including the Derby Day weekend, semi-finals and Final.
The first weekend sees two matches live on BT Sport with Saracens hosting Leicester Tigers on Saturday, 27th October and Exeter Chiefs making the trip to Newcastle Falcons the next day.
The Premiership Rugby Cup will comprise three pools of four teams each and will kick off with the first three pool rounds beginning on the last weekend of October and the last round in the New Year.
The New Year round will see Derby Day clashes for the 12 teams before the Cup moves into the knockout phase with the three pool winners and the best runner up moving into the semi-finals.
The Derby Day round is split over two weekends, ensuring all players receive a mid-season break. There will be prize money in every match for the winning team, with four rounds followed by semi-finals and a Final, with the Final being staged at the home ground of the highest seeded team.
“The Cup has been a highly successful competition in recent years in helping develop the best new Premiership and England players, in front of big crowds and TV audiences,” said Premiership Rugby Chief Executive, Mark McCafferty.
“An audience of more than 1.3m watched live coverage of the Cup on BT Sport last season, a 37% increase year on year. This competition is fundamental to developing young players for Gallagher Premiership Rugby and European action in front of big crowds at matches with a more intense atmosphere.”
Round 4 Televised matches to be selected following the end of Round 3
Premiership Rugby Cup Fixtures
Round 1 (26/27/28 October 2018)
Friday 26th October
7.45pm – Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks, Sixways
Saturday 27th October
2pm – Northampton Saints v Bristol Bears, Franklin’s Gardens
3pm – Bath Rugby v Harlequins, Recreation Ground
3pm – Gloucester Rugby v Wasps, Kingsholm
3pm – Saracens v Leicester Tigers, Allianz Park – Live on BT Sport
Sunday 28th October
3pm – Newcastle Falcons v Exeter Chiefs, Kingston Park – Live on BT Sport
Round 2 (2/3/4 November 2018)
Friday 2nd November
7.45pm – Bristol Bears v Gloucester Rugby, Ashton Gate – Live on BT Sport
8pm – Sale Sharks v Saracens, AJ Bell Stadium
Saturday 3rd November
1pm – Exeter Chiefs v Bath Rugby, Sandy Park
3pm – Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors, Welford Road
Sunday 4th November
3pm – Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons, Twickenham Stoop – Live on BT Sport
3pm – Wasps v Northampton Saints, Ricoh Arena
Round 3 (9/10/11 November 2018)
Friday 9th November
7.45pm – Gloucester Rugby v Northampton Saints, Kingsholm – Live on BT Sport
7.45pm – Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks, Welford Road
7.45pm – Newcastle Falcons v Bath Rugby, Kingston Park
Saturday 10th November
1pm – Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins, Sandy Park
Sunday 11th November
3pm – Saracens v Worcester Warriors, Allianz Park
3pm – Wasps v Bristol Bears, Ricoh Arena – Live on BT Sport
Round 4 Derby Day (25/26/27 January 2019)
Bristol Bears v Exeter Chiefs, Ashton Gate
Harlequins v Saracens, Twickenham Stoop
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers, Franklin’s Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Wasps, Sixways
Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons, AJ Bell Stadium
Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby, Recreation Ground