The long-awaited 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership restart finally takes place this Friday when Harlequins host Sale at The Stoop nearly 23 weeks after the last match in the tournament, the March 8 Ashton Gate encounter between Bristol and Quins.
Nine rounds of fixtures along with the playoffs – a total of 57 matches – will be played between Friday and the planned October 24 final. Below is a list of ten stats to remind everyone of what is at stake in the weeks and months ahead.
1. It has been 159 days since the last Gallagher Premiership Rugby game, the longest hiatus ever between Premiership matches. The previous record was 139 days between the 2015 final and the start of the 2015/16 season, and exactly the same four years later.
2. All to play for: Exeter obtained 43 of a possible 45 league points on offer from the last nine rounds in the 2016/17 season, while in 2008/09 Leicester climbed from sixth spot in the league table after round 13 to top place by round 22.
3. There is a five-way tie for the most Premiership tries this season with seven tries each being run in by Ben Earl, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Zach Kibirige, Luke Morahan and Louis Rees-Zammit.
The high stakes restart…https://t.co/KMFLikRQCQ
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 12, 2020
4. Worcester’s Perry Humphreys has scored five tries, while his teammates have scored just 13 more between them, the highest individual contribution of any one player in the Premiership this season.
5. Four players have amassed over a century of points this campaign: Marcus Smith leads the way with 126 followed by Callum Sheedy (122), Robert du Preez (116) and Rhys Priestland (111). The latter has scored almost half of Bath’s total points tally this season.
6. Exeter’s Gareth Steenson has missed just one kick at goal in 30 attempts this season – a 31st-minute conversion against Sale on 25 January. It’s his only miss in the Gallagher Premiership in his last 35 shots since March 2019.
7. Things could have been so different for Bristol and Worcester. The two clubs have each been involved in eight close encounters where the result was either a draw or the losing side obtained a losing bonus point. However, Bristol lost just two such matches while Worcester won only two of their eight.
8. Don’t let Saracens get ahead of you. Sarries have not lost any of the eight Premiership matches that they have been leading at the half-time break.
9. 69 per cent of all Gloucester’s points this season have been scored by the way of tries, by far the best contribution in the Gallagher Premiership.
10. There have been only three dropped goals kicked so far in 2019/20 – by Robert du Preez, James Grayson and Dan Robson. Grayson followed his father Paul in becoming the first father and son pair to have both dropped a goal in Premiership history, while Robson became only the eighth scrum-half to drop a goal.
'As a black player, you get pigeon-holed. You’re either an athlete and you’ll get stuck on the wing or he’s big, let’s stick him in the second row' @Harlequins wing @natenate174 talks about gaining coaches' trust, his ACL, BLM & more, with @heagneyl ???https://t.co/qxaJxTQeXM
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 2, 2020
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now