In the United Kingdom, rugby union is one of the most popular sports. The 2008/2009 rugby season begins in early September, and for many, the start of the season means weekends spent watching crushing tackles and try scoring live on television or at the local club.
The Guinness Premiership is England’s top-tier Rugby Union competition. It will begin on the weekend of September 6th and end in May of 2009. The current Champions are the London Wasps, who defeated the Leicester Tigers in a thrilling encounter at Twickenham in May, in which the renowned Wasps, England and British Lions back row forward, Lawrence Dallaglio, said his final rugby goodbye.
The Premiership is a 22-round competition in which England’s top 12 clubs compete. Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, London Irish, London Wasps, Newcastle Falcons, Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks, Saracens, and Worcester Warriors are the teams competing this year.
Throughout the season, each club plays each other at home and away with the hopes of qualifying for the top four spots at the end of Round 22. The top four teams will then compete in a knockout format, with the winners advancing to the Twickenham Final. The team that finishes first in the table by the end of round 22 will have home advantage in the knockout phase against the fourth-placed club, while the second-placed team will have home advantage against the third-placed team.
Points are awarded as follows throughout the round-by-round stage:
- Each victory is worth four points.
- Each draw is worth two points.
- If you lose a match by fewer than 7 points, you get an additional point.
- If you score four tries or more in any match, you get an extra point.
The pleasures of watching Rugby Union are not limited to the highest tier of the sport. There are five national divisions and several local leagues in England alone, with players and supporters flocking to clubs all across the country to enjoy the sport of rugby. In addition, Rugby Union betting has risen in popularity in recent years as a result of the growing number of fans attending matches since the sport became professional in 1995, as well as the recent achievements of the England national team.