Rugby U


Let's get your team news, then. We're trialing something new this week – in-house graphics! If this doesn't break the site or something, expect more of this in the future!


Almost 9 months ago, 12 teams set out with a range of ambitions, a plethora of differing expectations, and 22 games each to prove themselves. 4 of them have. 2 of them meet right here to fight for a place in the 2017 Aviva Premiership Final. It's Exeter vs Saracens, your first semi-final, live on ByTheMin. Get excited!

2nd vs 3rd, this one, with the Chiefs grabbing the home semi-final thanks to 1st placed Wasps beating Saracens on the last day of the regular season. Those 3, however, have been rotating around in the top 3 all season, with all of them sitting on top at some point.

So while Sandy Park has very much become a fortress for Exeter, these two come in on a very equal footing in terms of quality. Exeter haven't lost in the league since October, but Saracens are coming off last weekend's passage into the European elite, having defeated Clermont Auvergne to claim their second consecutive Champions Cup.

Tell you what, both coaches are talking like they expect to have a good crack at the trophy, and it's hard to argue. The top 3 has been so much of a carousel this season that the playoff format feels as justified as it ever has. Wasps, Exeter and Saracens are a distinct elite, while Tigers, despite being a step behind, can never be counted out, as their presence in the semis alone tells you.

BT Sport have a feature about Jack Nowell enjoying lego in his spare time. Might I humbly suggest a charity building contest with Finn Balor? Can we make that happen? Dibs on exclusive text coverage if so. Yeah, that's definitely how this works.

Almost ready to go! Exeter mascot, dressed like one of those Native Americans who has definitely been to Devon at some point and isn't a politically dubious chariacature, getting the crowd warmed up, with that classic Native Devonian-American anthem, Queen's We Will Rock You. This makes absolute sense and cultural approrpation isn't real. Yep. For sure.

Owen Farrell leads out the European Champions. Is today step 3.5 of their double double?

Ian Whitten out alone first for Chiefs, looking to make his 100th appearance a special one with a view to 101 being the most special of all. Steenson and the rest of the side follow him out.

Wayne Barnes with the whistle today, and... he's just found someone's phone on the pitch. Alright.