1997–98 English Premiership (rugby union)

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1997–98 Allied Dunbar Premiership
Countries  England
Champions Newcastle Falcons (1st title)
Runners-up Saracens
Relegated Bristol
Matches played 132
Attendance 823,446 (average 6,238 per match)

The 1997–98 English Premiership (known as the Allied Dunbar Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the eleven full season of rugby union within the top tier of the English rugby union system. Newcastle Falcons won the league, for the time, following their promotion from National Division 2 last season. Saracens finished just one point behind in second place, and the last placed club, Bristol, are relegated.

Participating teams and locations[edit]

Locations of the 1997–98 Allied Dunbar Premiership teams
Greater London Allied Dunbar Premiership clubs
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
Newcastle Falcons Kingston Park[n 1] 10,000 Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Northampton Saints Franklin's Gardens 10,000 Northampton, Northamptonshire
Richmond Athletic Ground, Richmond 4,500 Richmond, London
Sale Heywood Road 5,400 Sale, Greater Manchester
Saracens Vicarage Road 22,000 Watford, Hertfordshire
Wasps Loftus Road 18,439 Shepherd's Bush, London
Notes
  1. ^ *Newcastle played two home games at the Gateshead International Stadium, Gateshead on 4 May 1998 and 11 May 1998


Final table[edit]

Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points difference Tries for Tries against Points
1 Newcastle Falcons (C) 22 19 0 3 645 387 +258 85 31 38
2 Saracens 22 18 1 3 584 396 +188 59 36 37
3 Bath 22 13 0 9 575 455 +120 66 49 26
4 Leicester Tigers 22 12 2 8 569 449 +120 64 45 26
5 Richmond 22 12 0 10 607 499 +108 81 50 24
6 Gloucester 22 11 1 10 512 528 −16 52 65 23
7 Sale Sharks 22 10 2 10 605 558 +47 71 60 22
8 Northampton Saints 22 9 1 12 493 472 +21 46 53 19
9 Wasps 22 8 1 13 490 609 −119 47 68 17
10 Harlequins 22 8 0 14 516 645 −129 58 73 16
11 London Irish 22 6 0 16 457 673 −216 45 82 12
12 Bristol (R) 22 2 0 20 351 733 −382 36 98 4




Fixtures[edit]

Week 1[edit]

23 August 1997
14:15
Bath 13 – 20 Newcastle Falcons
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 7,000
23 August 1997
15:00
Gloucester 35 – 13 Bristol
Kingsholm
Attendance: 7,564
23 August 1997
15:00
Northampton Saints 23 – 26 NEC Harlequins
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 6,027
23 August 1997
15:00
Richmond 32 – 12 London Irish
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 4,779
24 August 1997
15:00
Sale Sharks 10 – 19 Saracens
Heywood Road
Attendance: 3,000

Week 2[edit]

30 August 1997
14:15
NEC Harlequins 20 – 27 Bath
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 6,154
30 August 1997
15:00
Bristol 21 – 38 London Wasps
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 4,000
30 August 1997
15:00
Leicester Tigers 33 – 16 Gloucester
Welford Road
Attendance: 11,159
30 August 1997
15:00
London Irish 20 – 26 Sale Sharks
The Avenue
Attendance: 5,000

Week 3[edit]

8 October 1997
19:30
Newcastle Falcons 37 – 12 Northampton Saints
Kingston Park
Attendance: 3,390
8 October 1997
20:00
Saracens 15 – 9 Richmond
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 4,134

Week 4[edit]

18 October 1997
14:15
Richmond 37 – 16 NEC Harlequins
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 4,836
18 October 1997
15:00
Bath 44 – 15 Bristol
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 8,000
18 October 1997
15:00
Northampton Saints 25 – 6 Leicester Tigers
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 8,186
18 October 1997
15:00
Sale Sharks 26 – 33 Newcastle Falcons
Heywood Road
Attendance: 4,000
19 October 1997
15:00
London Wasps 15 – 19 Saracens
Loftus Road
Attendance: 9,700
19 October 1997
15:15
Gloucester 29 – 7 London Irish
Kingsholm
Attendance: 6,287

Week 5[edit]

25 October 1997
14:15
Leicester Tigers 33 – 22 Bath
Welford Road
Attendance: 16,000
25 October 1997
15:00
NEC Harlequins 52 – 41 Sale Sharks
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 6,810
26 October 1997
15:00
Bristol 22 – 15 Northampton Saints
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 4,062
26 October 1997
15:00
London Irish 22 – 17 London Wasps
The Avenue
Attendance: 4,000
26 October 1997
15:00
Newcastle Falcons 18 – 12 Richmond
Kingston Park
Attendance: 4,202
26 October 1997
15:00
Saracens 42 – 24 Gloucester
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 5,163

Week 6[edit]

1 November 1997
15:00
Bath 47 – 31 Richmond
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 8,000
1 November 1997
15:00
London Irish 19 – 35 Newcastle Falcons
The Avenue
Attendance: 5,000
2 November 1997
15:00
Gloucester 16 – 17 NEC Harlequins
Kingsholm
Attendance: 7,937
2 November 1997
15:00
London Wasps 22 – 38 Sale Sharks
Loftus Road
Attendance: 4,105
2 November 1997
15:00
Saracens 31 – 9 Bristol
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 4,258

Week 7[edit]

8 November 1997
15:00
Northampton Saints 13 – 19 Saracens
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 7,088
9 November 1997
15:00
Sale Sharks 76 – 0 Bristol
Heywood Road
Attendance: 2,500

Week 8[edit]

13 December 1997
14:15
Leicester Tigers 55 – 15 Sale Sharks
Welford Road
Attendance: 10,695
13 December 1997
15:00
Bristol 12 – 13 Richmond
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 2,415
13 December 1997
15:00
London Irish 10 – 51 Northampton Saints
The Avenue
Attendance: 4,300
13 December 1997
15:00
NEC Harlequins 53 – 17 London Wasps
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 7,812
14 December 1997
15:00
Newcastle Falcons 37 – 27 Gloucester
Kingston Park
Attendance: 3,000
14 December 1997
15:00
Saracens 50 – 23 Bath
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 10,658
16 December 1997
20:00
Richmond 32 – 15 Leicester Tigers
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 2,076

Week 9[edit]

20 December 1997
15:00
Leicester Tigers 27 – 3 NEC Harlequins
Welford Road
Attendance: 11,606
21 December 1997
14:30
Richmond 21 – 24 Northampton Saints
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 2,204

Week 10[edit]

26 December 1997
15:00
Saracens 21 – 22 Leicester Tigers
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 14,291
27 December 1997
14:00
Bristol 8 – 50 Newcastle Falcons
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 5,000
27 December 1997
15:00
Gloucester 26 – 20 Richmond
Kingsholm
Attendance: 8,328
27 December 1997
15:00
NEC Harlequins 26 – 24 London Irish
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 7,348
27 December 1997
15:00
Northampton Saints 18 – 10 London Wasps
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 8,772
27 December 1997
15:00
Sale Sharks 11 – 13 Bath
Heywood Road
Attendance: 4,500

Week 11[edit]

30 December 1997
15:00
Bath 26 – 3 Northampton Saints
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 8,000
30 December 1997
19:30
London Irish 10 – 25 Saracens
The Avenue
Attendance: 3,800
30 December 1997
19:30
London Wasps 22 – 18 Richmond
Loftus Road
Attendance: 4,912
30 December 1997
19:30
Sale Sharks 24 – 24 Gloucester
Heywood Road
Attendance: 3,500
30 December 1997
19:45
Leicester Tigers 19 – 25 Newcastle Falcons
Welford Road
Attendance: 16,000
31 December 1997
15:00
NEC Harlequins 38 – 40 Bristol
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 5,124

Week 12[edit]

10 January 1998
15:00
Northampton Saints 33 – 14 Sale Sharks
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 5,929
11 January 1998
15:00
London Wasps 26 – 20 Gloucester
Loftus Road
Attendance: 4,245
11 January 1998
15:00
Newcastle Falcons 46 – 13 London Irish
Kingston Park
Attendance: 3,500
11 January 1998
15:00
Saracens 25 – 16 NEC Harlequins
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 10,753

Week 13[edit]

17 January 1998
14:00
Leicester Tigers 45 – 21 London Wasps
Welford Road
Attendance: 15,000
17 January 1998
15:00
London Irish 14 – 45 Richmond
The Avenue
Attendance: 3,500
18 January 1998
15:00
Bristol 13 – 14 Gloucester
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 5,601
18 January 1998
15:00
NEC Harlequins 5 – 30 Northampton Saints
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 4,612

Week 14[edit]

31 January 1998
14:30
Richmond 10 – 15 Saracens
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 3,888
31 January 1998
15:00
Northampton Saints 17 – 21 Newcastle Falcons
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 8,989
1 February 1998
15:00
Gloucester 32 – 25 Leicester Tigers
Kingsholm
Attendance: 7,963
1 February 1998
15:00
London Wasps 32 – 18 Bristol
Loftus Road
Attendance: 4,112
1 February 1998
15:00
Sale Sharks 41 – 16 London Irish
Heywood Road
Attendance: 3,500

Week 15[edit]

11 February 1998
19:15
Bath 47 – 3 Gloucester
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 5,500
14 February 1998
14:00
Gloucester 20 – 15 Northampton Saints
Kingsholm
Attendance: 5,689
14 February 1998
15:00
Bath 43 – 27 London Wasps
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 8,000
14 February 1998
15:00
Bristol 20 – 37 Saracens
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 3,239
14 February 1998
15:00
Leicester Tigers 34 – 19 London Irish
Welford Road
Attendance: 10,762
15 February 1998
15:00
Newcastle Falcons 43 – 15 NEC Harlequins
Kingston Park
Attendance: 5,031
15 February 1998
15:00
Richmond 20 – 28 Sale Sharks
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 2,017

Week 16[edit]

20 February 1998
20:00
London Irish 38 – 23 Bristol
The Avenue
Attendance: 1,500
24 February 1998
19:30
Saracens 42 – 20 Sale Sharks
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 3,722

Week 17[edit]

28 February 1998
15:00
Bath 39 – 13 NEC Harlequins
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 7,200
28 February 1998
15:00
Bristol 24 – 27 Leicester Tigers
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 3,143

Week 18[edit]

7 March 1998
15:00
Leicester Tigers 15 – 15 Northampton Saints
Welford Road
Attendance: 14,500
7 March 1998
15:00
NEC Harlequins 41 – 12 Richmond
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 4,532
8 March 1998
15:00
Bristol 16 – 22 Bath
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 5,271
8 March 1998
15:00
Saracens 33 – 27 London Wasps
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 12,332
10 March 1998
19:30
Newcastle Falcons 23 – 18 Sale Sharks
Kingston Park
Attendance: 2,638
11 March 1998
19:30
Gloucester 22 – 15 London Wasps
Kingsholm
Attendance: 6,629

Week 19[edit]

14 March 1998
14:15
Bath 16 – 5 Leicester Tigers
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 8,200
14 March 1998
15:00
Northampton Saints 35 – 12 Bristol
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 4,900
14 March 1998
15:00
Richmond 30 – 17 Newcastle Falcons
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 4,367
14 March 1998
15:00
Sale Sharks 23 – 13 NEC Harlequins
Heywood Road
Attendance: 4,000
15 March 1998
15:00
Gloucester 38 – 15 Saracens
Kingsholm
Attendance: 7,135
15 March 1998
15:00
London Wasps 19 – 38 London Irish
Loftus Road
Attendance: 7,935

Week 20[edit]

24 March 1998
19:30
London Irish 23 – 19 Gloucester
The Avenue
Attendance: 2,300
25 March 1998
19:30
Newcastle Falcons 30 – 25 Saracens
Kingston Park
Attendance: 6,868
28 March 1998
15:00
Leicester Tigers 42 – 19 Richmond
Welford Road
Attendance: 10,146
28 March 1998
15:00
London Irish 35 – 49 Bath
The Avenue
Attendance: 4,800
29 March 1998
15:00
NEC Harlequins 36 – 16 Gloucester
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 4,127

Week 21[edit]

7 April 1998
19:30
Newcastle Falcons 20 – 13 London Wasps
Kingston Park
Attendance: 4,500
10 April 1998
15:00
Bath 13 – 29 Saracens
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 8,200
10 April 1998
15:00
Richmond 43 – 3 Bristol
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 2,500
11 April 1998
15:00
Gloucester 27 – 29 Newcastle Falcons
Kingsholm
Attendance: 9,048
11 April 1998
15:00
Sale Sharks 35 – 21 Leicester Tigers
Heywood Road
Attendance: 4,000
12 April 1998
15:00
London Wasps 29 – 26 NEC Harlequins
Loftus Road
Attendance: 5,749

Week 22[edit]

13 April 1998
15:00
Richmond 32 – 14 Bath
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 6,500
15 April 1998
19:15
Bristol 15 – 25 Sale Sharks
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 1,547
18 April 1998
14:00
NEC Harlequins 14 – 23 Leicester Tigers
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 5,362
18 April 1998
15:00
Gloucester 27 – 17 Bath
Kingsholm
Attendance: 10,574
18 April 1998
15:00
Northampton Saints 39 – 47 Richmond
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 5,350
18 April 1998
15:00
Sale Sharks 28 – 28 London Wasps
Heywood Road
Attendance: 3,800
19 April 1998
15:00
Bristol 5 – 17 London Irish
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 2,265
19 April 1998
15:05
Saracens 12 – 10 Newcastle Falcons
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 19,764

Week 23[edit]

22 April 1998
19:30
Northampton Saints 33 – 18 London Irish
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 4,600
22 April 1998
19:45
London Wasps 18 – 17 Newcastle Falcons
Loftus Road
Attendance: 5,045
25 April 1998
14:15
Leicester Tigers 10 – 10 Saracens
Welford Road
Attendance: 16,900
25 April 1998
15:00
Bath 19 – 29 Sale Sharks
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 6,500
25 April 1998
15:00
London Irish 62 – 14 NEC Harlequins
The Avenue
Attendance: 4,200
25 April 1998
15:00
Richmond 33 – 22 Gloucester
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 2,000
26 April 1998
15:00
London Wasps 31 – 15 Northampton Saints
Loftus Road
Attendance: 5,261
26 April 1998
15:00
Newcastle Falcons 43 – 18 Bristol
Kingston Park
Attendance: 3,162

Week 24[edit]

28 April 1998
19:15
Bath 20 – 3 London Irish
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 5,500
29 April 1998
19:30
NEC Harlequins 26 – 28 Saracens
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 4,152
29 April 1998
19:45
London Wasps 17 – 13 Leicester Tigers
Loftus Road
Attendance: 3,791
2 May 1998
15:00
Gloucester 31 – 19 Sale Sharks
Kingsholm
Attendance: 6,319
2 May 1998
15:00
Northampton Saints 16 – 15 Bath
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 6,320
2 May 1998
15:00
Richmond 51 – 29 London Wasps
Athletic Ground
Attendance: 4,551
3 May 1998
15:00
Bristol 19 – 26 NEC Harlequins
Memorial Stadium
Attendance: 3,110
3 May 1998
15:00
Saracens 29 – 21 London Irish
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 8,143

Week 25[edit]

4 May 1998
15:00
Newcastle Falcons 27 – 10 Leicester Tigers
10 May 1998
15:00
Leicester Tigers 34 – 25 Bristol
Welford Road
Attendance: 8,678
10 May 1998
15:00
Sale Sharks 30 – 19 Northampton Saints
Heywood Road
Attendance: 3,000

Week 26[edit]

11 May 1998
19:30
Newcastle Falcons 20 – 15 Bath
Gateshead International Stadium
Attendance: 11,750
14 May 1998
19:45
Saracens 43 – 20 Northampton Saints
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 9,117
17 May 1998
13:00
NEC Harlequins 20 – 44 Newcastle Falcons
Twickenham Stoop
Attendance: 8,897
17 May 1998
15:00
London Irish 16 – 55 Leicester Tigers
The Avenue
Attendance: 2,500
17 May 1998
15:00
London Wasps 17 – 31 Bath
Loftus Road
Attendance: 9,324
17 May 1998
15:00
Northampton Saints 22 – 24 Gloucester
Franklin’s Gardens
Attendance: 5,500
17 May 1998
15:00
Sale Sharks 28 – 40 Richmond
Heywood Road
Attendance: 4,000

Sponsorship[edit]

Following ten years of sponsorship by the Courage Brewery, the life assurance group Allied Dunbar agreed to sponsor the top two divisions for £7,500,000.[1]

Attendances[edit]

Club Total Average Highest Lowest % Capacity
Bath 80,100 7,282 8,200 5,500 89%
Bristol 39,653 3,605 5,601 1,547 30%
Gloucester 83,473 7,588 10,574 5,689 69%
Harlequins 64,930 5,903 8,897 4,127 69%
Leicester Tigers 141,446 12,859 16,900 8,678 80%
London Irish 40,900 3,718 5,000 1,500 56%
Newcastle Falcons 55,251 5,023 11,750 2,638 48%
Northampton Saints 71,661 6,515 8,989 4,600 65%
Richmond 39,718 3,611 6,500 2,000 75%
Sale Sharks 39,800 3,618 4,500 2,500 67%
Saracens 102,335 9,303 19,764 3,722 42%
Wasps 64,179 5,834 9,700 3,791 32%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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]