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NBC Sports begins inaugural season of Aviva Premiership Rugby coverage this weekend on NBC

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STAMFORD, Conn. – NBC Sports Group begins its inaugural season of Aviva Premiership Rugby coverage this weekend, presenting the first of more than 70 combined Premiership Rugby matches that will be televised on NBCSN and streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app during the 2016-17 campaign.

NBCSN’s coverage begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ET, when defending champion Saracens face Worcester Warriors at Twickenham Stadium in London. NBCSN’s coverage continues on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. ET, when Wasps host 2015-16 runners-up Exeter Chiefs at Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

In addition to NBCSN’s telecasts, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will provide live, exclusive streaming coverage of a pair of matches this weekend, beginning on Friday at 2:45 p.m. ET, when Gloucester Rugby host Leicester Tigers. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will also stream Saturday’s match featuring Harlequins vs. Bristol Rugby at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Each weekend, NBC Sports Group will present the most compelling Premiership Rugby matches on the schedule, often preceding or following live coverage of Premier League soccer. The Premiership Rugby season will culminate with live coverage of the league Final on Saturday, May 27 on NBCSN. Click here to watch NBC Sports Group’s Aviva Premiership Rugby theatrical trailer previewing the 2016-17 campaign.

NBC Sports’ Leigh Diffey will serve as the studio host for NBCSN’s Premiership Rugby coverage. He will be joined by analyst and former Premiership Rugby player Alex Corbisiero, who played seven combined seasons for London Irish and Northampton Saints.

Alastair Eykyn, Lawrence Dallaglio, and Ugo Monye will call the match featuring Saracens and Worcester on Saturday, while Nick Mullins, Dallaglio, and Austin Healey will have the call for Wasps vs. Exeter on Sunday.

Following is NBC Sports Group’s 2016-17 Aviva Premiership Rugby schedule through Round 8 of the season:

Date Coverage Time (ET) Network
Fri., Sept. 2 Gloucester Rugby vs. Leicester Tigers 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Sept. 3 Saracens vs. Worcester Warriors* 9:30 a.m. NBCSN
Harlequins vs. Bristol Rugby 11:30 a.m. Streaming
Sun., Sept. 4 Wasps vs. Exeter Chiefs* 10:30 a.m. NBCSN
Fri., Sept. 9 Worcester Warriors vs. Gloucester Rugby 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Sept. 10 Leicester Tigers vs. Wasps 10 a.m. Streaming
Sun., Sept. 11 Exeter Chiefs vs. Saracens 2 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., Sept. 16 Sale Sharks vs. Gloucester Rugby 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Sept. 17 Saracens vs. Northampton Saints 10 a.m. Streaming
Sun., Sept. 18 Newcastle vs. Leicester Tigers 10 a.m. Streaming
Fri., Sept. 23 Bristol Rugby vs. Exeter Chiefs 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Sept. 24 Northampton Saints vs. Wasps 10 a.m. Streaming
Sun., Sept. 25 Leicester Tigers vs. Bath Rugby* 7 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., Sept. 30 Northampton Saints vs. Exeter Chiefs 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Oct. 1 Gloucester Rugby vs. Bath Rugby* 8 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., Oct. 2 Worcester Warriors vs. Newcastle Falcons* 10:30 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., Oct. 7 Bath Rugby vs. Sale Sharks 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Oct. 8 Harlequins vs. Northampton Saints 10 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., Oct. 9 Saracens vs. Wasps* 11 a.m. NBCSN
Fri., Oct. 28 Northampton Saints vs. Gloucester Rugby 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sat., Oct. 29 Saracens vs. Leicester Tigers* 3:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., Oct. 30 Exeter Chiefs vs. Bath Rugby 10 a.m. Streaming
Fri., Nov. 18 Bath Rugby vs. Bristol Rugby 2:45 p.m. Streaming
Sun., Nov. 20 Sale Sharks vs. Saracens 8 a.m. Streaming
Leicester Tigers vs. Harlequins 10 a.m. Streaming

*denotes same-day delay

PREMIERSHIP RUGBY ON NBCSPORTS.COM AND THE NBC SPORTS APP: NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming of all Premiership Rugby matches airing on NBCSN, as well as exclusive streaming coverage of matches each week, via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are powered by Playmaker Media and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

NatWest 6 Nations fantasy update

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In the first of two NatWest 6 Nations Fantasy Rugby specials, we’re looking at the forwards who have impressed so far in the Championship.

After two thrilling rounds of the NatWest 6 Nations, England and Ireland are both unbeaten with Wales and Scotland breathing down their necks with one win each.

Just like the Championship, the fantasy rugby is also heating up with the third week set to be decisive as the quest for supremacy continues.

Hookers

Ireland captain Rory Best leads the way amongst the hookers after captaining Ireland to victories over France and Italy in the opening two rounds.

Best’s points are boosted by a try with England skipper Dylan Hartley not far behind followed by Wales’ Ken Owens and France’s Guilhem Guirado.

See the Full 6 Nations Schedule

Owens is the cheapest hooker amongst the top five performers to date with England’s Jamie George closing in on Hartley despite coming on as a replacement in both games.

Rory Best (14.60) – 67
Dylan Hartley (13.95) – 44.4
Ken Owens (11.55) – 39
Guilhem Guirado (14.35) – 37.6
Jamie George (13.80) – 34.6

Props

England’s start props Mako Vunipola and Dan Cole are the highest scorers here with the former’s 30 tackles and 21 metres carried helping him to top the rankings.

Ireland’s Jack McGrath and Andrew Porter are both cheaper and have scored strong points from their opening two games with Rob Evans offering good value at 11.50 stars.

Mako Vunipola (14.75) – 73.6
Dan Cole (14.15) – 52.8
Jack McGrath (13.00) – 43.6
Andrew Porter (12.70) – 40.4
Rob Evans (11.50) – 33.8

Watch 6 Nations with NBC Sports Gold Rugby Pass

Lock

The locks continue to offer exciting value to Fantasy Rugby players with Joe Launchbury’s 29 tackles and two defenders beaten putting him at the top here.

England teammate Maro Itoje is a close second with Aaron Shingler, the cheapest option of the five, in third after making 85 meters in the first two games.

Courtney Lawes is a point further back, but much more expensive, with Iain Henderson also offering good value after picking up 55.8 points so far in the Championship.

Joe Launchbury (14.85) – 76.2
Maro Itoje (16.35) – 74.8
Aaron Shingler (13.45) – 69.6
Courtney Lawes (15.05) – 68.2
Iain Henderson (14.25) – 55.8

Loose forwards

Two tries on his NatWest 6 Nations debut has helped Sam Simmonds to the top of the loose forwards but he’s been ruled out of Round Three.

That could see Chris Robshaw selected by more players with a trio of Irish offering value ahead of the visit of Wales to Dublin this weekend.

Sam Simmonds (17.15) – 110.6
Chris Robshaw (14.80) – 75.2
Sean O’Mahony (14.65) – 74.8
Dan Leavy (11.35) – 59.4
CJ Stander (15.35) – 58.6

France’s Morgan Parra to undergo knee surgery, miss rest of 6 Nations

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Clermont Auvergne has reportedly confirmed France scrum-half Morgan Parra will miss the remainder of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations Championship. The Frenchman is set undergo arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus he sustained last month.

Parra, 29, was initially prescribed three weeks of rest following the injury. He is now expected to be out four-to-six weeks before shifting his focus to Clermont’s Champions Cup.

France, seeking their first 6 Nations Championship title, opened their campaign with losses to Ireland and Scotland in the first two rounds.

Action will resume with Round Three on Friday, Feb. 23. Every match can be seen with NBC Sports Gold Rugby Pass.

See the Full Schedule | Watch 6 Nations with NBC Sports Gold Rugby Pass