1996–97 English Premiership (rugby union)

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1996–97 Courage League National 1
Countries  England
Champions London Wasps (2nd title)
Runners-up Bath
Relegated West Hartlepool
Orrell
Matches played 132
Official website
www.premiershiprugby.com

The 1996–97 English Premiership (known as the Courage League National 1 for sponsorship reasons) was the tenth season of the top flight of rugby union in England. It was the first professional season in English rugby union history. The league was made up of twelve teams with each team playing each other twice, in a round robin system. London Wasps were the champions, with a winning margin of six points above Bath, the runners–up. West Hartlepool and Orrell were relegated to National Division 2.[1] It was the tenth and final season of sponsorship by Courage.[2]

Participating teams[edit]

Locations of the 1996–97 Courage League National Division One teams
Team Stadium Capacity City/Area
Bath Bath 8,200 Bath, Somerset
Bristol Memorial Stadium 12,100 Bristol, Avon
Gloucester Kingsholm 11,000 Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Harlequins The Stoop 8,500 Twickenham, London
Leicester Tigers Welford Road 16,000 Leicester, Leicestershire
London Irish The Avenue 6,600 Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey
Northampton Saints Franklin's Gardens 10,000 Northampton, Northamptonshire
Orrell Edge Hall Road 3,000 Orrell, Greater Manchester
Sale Heywood Road 5,400 Sale, Greater Manchester
Saracens Bramley Road 2,000 Enfield, London
Wasps Loftus Road 18,439 Shepherd's Bush, London
West Hartlepool Victoria Park 7,856 Hartlepool, County Durham

Table[edit]


Club
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Points For
Points Against
Points Difference
Points
1 London Wasps (C) 22 18 1 3 685 406 279 37
2 Bath 22 15 1 6 836 411 452 31
3 Harlequins 22 15 0 7 745 416 329 30
4 Leicester Tigers 22 14 1 7 600 395 205 29
5 Sale Sharks 22 13 2 7 603 525 78 28
6 Gloucester 22 12 1 9 568 449 119 25
7 Saracens 22 11 1 10 476 589 -113 23
8 Northampton Saints 22 10 0 12 515 477 38 20
9 Bristol Rugby 22 8 1 13 432 625 -193 17
10 London Irish 22 6 0 16 502 747 -245 12
11 West Hartlepool (R) 22 3 0 19 382 795 -413 6
12 Orrell (R) 22 3 0 19 350 886 -536 6
  • Points are awarded as follows:
  1. two points for a win
  2. one point for a draw
  3. no points for a loss
  • If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
  1. difference between points for and against
  2. total number of points for
Green denotes the champions and qualification for the 1997–98 Heineken Cup. Blue denotes qualification for the 1997–98 Heineken Cup. Buff denotes the relegation/promotion play–off places. Pink denotes the relegation places to 1997–98 Allied Dunbar Premership Two.

[2]

Results[edit]

The Home Team is listed on the left column.

Clubs BAT BRI GLO HAR LEI LOI NOR ORR SAL SAR WAS WHA
Bath Rugby 76-7 71-21 35-20 47-9 46-3 52-14 40-14 84-7 35-33 36-40 46-10
Bristol Rugby 13-18 18-13 24-35 12-38 26-38 20-11 38-10 34-24 11-21 18-41 20-17
Gloucester RFC 29-45 20-20 11-27 32-30 29-19 19-6 30-0 12-16 9-6 28-23 37-10
Harlequins 22-6 29-6 75-19 18-34 66-7 36-16 89-18 30-31 27-0 22-42 48-10
Leicester Tigers 28-25 53-19 32-14 12-13 46-13 23-9 36-14 25-9 22-18 18-12 48-3
London Irish 31-56 27-28 20-21 20-19 25-18 34-21 27-48 19-25 23-37 20-22 52-41
Northampton Saints 9-6 29-21 25-27 15-20 22-19 31-21 41-7 30-12 17-10 15-26 46-20
Orrell 13-56 27-28 3-49 20-56 12-29 32-27 14-50 8-40 22-44 27-44 22-15
Sale Sharks 11-5 31-33 52-12 24-13 20-20 41-25 31-15 37-11 33-23 31-33 58-18
Saracens 36-29 33-15 41-11 28-20 25-23 45-0 24-23 24-15 17-17 15-28 51-8
Wasps 25-25 15-13 36-10 17-19 14-7 31-18 18-13 62-5 36-10 36-21 36-12
West Hartlepool 16-24 19-8 14-23 21-41 19-30 18-33 17-57 24-8 22-43 25-16 23-48


Home Win Draw Away Win

Relegation/Promotion play–offs[edit]

For the first time play–offs took place between the third and fourth placed teams in Division Two and the ninth and tenth placed teams in Division One. The play–offs followed a 4th v 9th, 3rd v 10th system – with the games being played over two legs and the second tier team playing at home in the first leg.[2]

First leg[edit]

7 May 1997
Bedford Blues 11 – 20 Bristol
7 May 1997
Coventry 16 – 14 London Irish

Second leg[edit]

11 May 1997
Bristol 19 – 12 Bedford
  • Bristol won 39 – 23 on aggregate to retain their place in Division One
11 May 1997
London Irish 28 – 7 Coventry
  • London Irish won 42 – 23 on aggregate to retain their place in Division One

References[edit]

  1. ^ "League Tables". London Irish. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  2. ^ a b c Mick Cleary and John Griffiths, ed. (1997). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1997–98. London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0 7472 7732 X. 

External links[edit]