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Aviva premiership

WhistleWhilst South African and Southern Hemisphere referees are sitting with their feet up or bare feet in the sand at the coast this Festive Season, their Northern Hemisphere counterparts are still at work.

So where do you really want to live, in leisurely summer time in the Southern Hemisphere or in the cold gloom and doom of icy winter in the Northern Hemisphere?

Here are the referees doing duty till 29 December 2013.

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Aviva PremiershipIt will be the Premiership leaders against the defending champions when Saracens host Leicester at Allianz Park for the first time on Saturday.

Saracens have lost just one match this season, leaving them ten points ahead of the Fifth-placed Tigers, but Leicester flank Jamie Gibson believes that things are beginning to click at the right time.

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LondonIrishLondon Irish are set to announce a takeover of the club by a group of Irish businessmen on Thursday. The club have called a news conference at their training ground in Sunbury for 10:30 GMT, where they will announce further details of the takeover.

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TVThe season may have ended for International sides like the South African Springboks and the New Zealand All Blacks, but we still officially have one Test weekend left on the End Of Year Tours in 2013, and it is this weekend!

The Barbarians take on Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT), with a number of prominent Springboks and All Blacks in the Barbarians side and Wales host the Wallabies from Australia at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff at 19:00 SA Time (17:00 GMT).

But that’s not all folks, we have some quality Sevens Rugby on Friday and Saturday (HSBC Sevens World Series, Dubai Tournament) and we also have the Varsity Sevens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday… all broadcast live. In addition we have Aviva Pemiership Round 9 rugby betwwen Gloucester vs Leicester Tigers and French Top 14 Round 13 rugby between Perpignon vs Clermont Auvergne on Friday night and an Aviva Premiershpi Round 9 rugby match between Newcastle Falcons vs Harlequins on Sunday

Here are the broadcast times for Friday, Saturday and Sunday:

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Aviva PremiershipAussie flank Ben White says Exeter Chiefs cannot wait to get stuck into Leicester Tigers in their latest Premiership encounter this Sunday.

Buoyed by back-to-back league wins over London Wasps and London Irish, the Chiefs are now busy preparing themselves for the visit of the defending champions to Sandy Park.

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nick-wood-burger-stampIn what can surely only be described as a moment of madness Gloucester’s  loose head prop Nick Wood looked down lifted his right leg and brought it down on former Bulls flanker Jacques Burger’s head as he lay prone at the bottom of a ruck. This meant Wood’s participation in Gloucester’s Premiership match away to Saracens on Saturday ended within a minute and a half of it starting as the referee quite rightly brandished the red card.

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avivalogo2Newcastle Falcons will be keen to prove they are worthy when they get the 2013/14 Premiership season underway against Bath at Kingston Park tonight.  While the opening round has a number of intriguing fixtures – London Irish v Saracens, Gloucester v Sale Sharks, Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs, London Wasps v Harlequins and Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors – it is the Falcons that will hog most of the early limelight.

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Aviva PremiershipThis weekend sees action in the penultimate round of the league stage of the Aviva Premiership with the first match of the round being between Gary Gold’s Bath and Leicester Tigers. The final match of the weekend is scheduled for Sunday afternoon with London Wasps at home to Exeter Chiefs.

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avivalogo2Bath second row Dominic Day admits that it is win at all costs when they welcome West Country rivals Gloucester to the Rec on Friday.  Day and co will be itching to return to winning ways after their run of six straight victories in all competitions came to an end with their narrow 23-25 defeat at Northampton Saints.

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avivalogo2Harlequins will look to cement their place at the top of the Premiership standings when they visit Salford City Stadium on Friday. Up against the troubled and bottom-placed Sale Sharks, defending champion Quins are expected to collect a full-house five points.
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avivalogo2As pointed out by Scrumdown, one of our knowledgeable contributors,  yesterday Saracens played their first Premiership game at their new home ground, the Allianz Park, in Barnet Copthall.  The match was played on an artificial surface and although it is the second game that has been played there it was the first one that they played in front of ten thousand people which is a capacity crowd for the stadium.

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avivalogo2Freddie Burns will look to lead Gloucester to victory over London Irish in a key Premiership clash at Kingsholm on Saturday.

Freddie Burns insists he’s relishing the added responsibility placed on his shoulders this season and believes Gloucester have every chance of celebrating a Premiership top-four finish this campaign.

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avivalogo2The battle between the four frontrunners for pole position on the Premiership standings will heat up in this weekend’s Round 11 action.

So close is the title hunt that any of the Harlequins (33), Saracens (32), Northampton Saints (31) or Leicester Tigers (30) could top the standings at the conclusion of the weekend’s play.   

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