Premiership 2017-18 fixtures: Exeter Chiefs start title defence at Gloucester

Gareth Steenson’s extra-time penalty against Wasps at Twickenham helped Exeter to their first Premiership title

Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs will begin their title defence away at Gloucester when the 2017-18 campaign starts on Friday, 1 September.

Newcastle host Worcester on the same night, while last season’s runners-up Wasps open against Sale on 2 September.

European champions Saracens take on Northampton and promoted London Irish play Harlequins in the Twickenham double-header, also on 2 September.

Bath visit 10-time Premiership winners Leicester on Sunday, 3 September.

Kick-off times for games in the opening 10 rounds of the season have been released, with timings for fixtures after 3 December yet to be confirmed.

Dates and times of matches over the festive season, from 22 December until 7 January, will be confirmed in the first week of October.

The 2018 Six Nations will start on 3 February, with four rounds of Premiership fixtures to be played before it finishes on 17 March.

The regular season will finish on Saturday, 5 May, with the final scheduled for Twickenham on Saturday, 26 May.

Dates for your diary

Wasps will get their first chance of revenge for their final defeat by Exeter when the teams play at Sandy Park on 24 September, with Exeter going to the Ricoh Arena in mid-February, during the Six Nations.

The first big derby of the season comes as early as the second weekend of the season as Leicester go to Northampton on 9 September, with the return fixture to be played in the middle of April.

Gloucester face Worcester in an M5 derby on 22 September at Kingsholm, before they meet again in mid-February, while the Cherry and Whites come up against near-neighbours Bath for the first time on 29 October.

Saracens, Premiership winners in 2014-15 and 2015-16, visit fellow London side Harlequins on 3 December, with the return fixture to be played towards the end of March.

Opening fixtures

Friday, 1 September

Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs (19:45 BST)Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors (19:45)

Saturday, 2 September

Saracens v Northampton Saints (14:00)Wasps v Sale Sharks (15:00)London Irish v Harlequins (16:30)

Sunday, 3 September

Leicester Tigers v Bath (15:00)

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