Wasps can end their 12-year wait for a Premiership title after they beat Bristol Bears 47-24 to reach the final, but they will go up against an Exeter Chiefs side in the showpiece for a fifth straight season.

In the day's first semi-final, Bristol only managed to put five points on the board in the opening 40 minutes, though it was not as one-sided as Wasps' 23-5 lead suggested at the interval.

Wasps just happened to be utterly ruthless, seizing on the majority of Bristol's infringements and turning them into points, with tries from Malakai Fekitoa and Jack Willis added to by reliable kicking courtesy of Jimmy Gopperth.

A brilliant 15-minute spell from Wasps blew Bristol away in the second half and ended the match as a contest, as they claimed 24 points in a 15-minute flurry to seal a first final spot since 2017.

Exeter were their conquerors on that occasion and once again await Wasps after they crushed Bath 35-6 in the second semi-final.

Much like Wasps in the earlier game, Exeter were clinical and produced a thoroughly professional display – tries from Jonny Hill and Luke Cowan-Dickie put them in control in the first period, before the visitors were swept aside without registering a point in the second.

It will be Exeter's fifth final on the trot, though the only one they emerged victorious from was the 2017 showdown with Wasps – Saracens beat them in the other three.

Bristol Bears sealed a Premiership play-off place with a 36-7 drubbing of London Irish but Bath face an anxious wait to discover if they will feature in the semi-finals following a draw with Saracens. 

The postponement of Sale Sharks' clash with Worcester Warriors until Wednesday due to "a number" of positive coronavirus at the Lancashire club meant the play-off picture could not be finalised on Sunday. 

Bristol started the last round of fixtures outside the top four, but a demolition of the Exiles ensured they remain in the hunt for the title. 

Semi Radradra, Ben Earl, Harry Thacker and Will Capon crossed, while Bristol were also awarded a penalty try as they moved above Bath into third place. 

Bath's season will be over if Sale beat Worcester in midweek, although whether the game goes ahead depends on the results of COVID-19 testing, after relegated Saracens came back from 14 points down in the second half to draw 17-17 at Allianz Park.

Bath looked set to seal a place in the last four when Rhys Priestland put them 17-3 up early in the second half, following on tries from Beno Obano and former Sarries scrum-half Ben Spencer. 

The defending champions stormed back in their last game in the top flight, a penalty try and Tim Swinson's score - both converted by Manu Vunipola - rocking Bath. 

Wasps sealed second place, and a home semi-final, with a 46-5 rout of Exeter Chiefs - already assured of top spot - and Harlequins beat Leicester Tigers 32-26 in Chris Robshaw's farewell match. 

Gloucester were awarded a 20-0 bonus-point win over Northampton Saints, who had insufficient front-rowers to start the match with a number of their players self-isolating after playing against Sale.

Bristol Bears boosted their chances of making the Premiership's play-offs with a 40-3 victory over Leicester Tigers on Wednesday.

The Bears ran in six tries at Ashton Gate to claim a bonus-point win that moved them level on points with fourth-placed Sale Sharks ahead of the final round of matches.

Four teams will make the play-offs and just two points separate Wasps in second and Bristol in fifth.

Leaders Exeter are the only team that have confirmed their play-off berth and a much-changed Chiefs team was beaten 22-19 by London Irish, who ended a run of nine successive losses with the win.

Elsewhere, Francois Hougaard crossed twice as Worcester Warriors beat already relegated Saracens 40-27 in an entertaining affair.

Saracens thumped title favourites Exeter Chiefs 40-17 in the final Premiership match between the teams for at least a season.

With Saracens heading down to the Championship, punished for breaching salary-cap rules, they will hope to make a swift return and re-establish the rivalry with the Devonians.

A five-try performance from the home side secured the points on this occasion, yet both sides were significantly under-strength, with their focus firmly on next week's European Champions Cup quarter-finals.

Saracens, without suspended England captain Owen Farrell, turned up tries from Rotimi Segun, Dom Morris, Elliott Obatoyinbo, Jaco Venter and Cameron Boon.

Facundo Cordero, Will Witty and Dave Dennis replied for Exeter, whose six-match winning run since the league re-started came to an end.

Next Saturday sees holders Saracens go to Pro14 winners Leinster in the Champions Cup, followed a day later by Exeter's home test against Northampton Saints.

The race to join Exeter in the four-team play-offs intensified as the day ended with the sides in second to fifth position separated by just two points.

Sale Sharks fell from second to fourth place after losing 37-22 at home to Bath, for whom Rhys Priestland booted 17 points.

Bath's tries came from Ruaridh McConnochie, Jonathan Joseph and Ben Spencer, who crossed twice, as they nudged up to third in the table.

Wasps now sit second, after they picked apart Bristol 59-35, knocking the Bears down to fifth spot.

They had eight try-scorers in the bonus-point success, with Jack Willis, Josh Bassett, Tom Cruse, Will Rowlands, Zach Kibirige, Dan Robson, Tom Willis and Gabriel Oghre all going over, as well as a penalty try.

Lowly Leicester Tigers secured a 28-24 win over Northampton Saints, with Ben Youngs marking his 250th appearance for the club by bagging a fifth-minute try.

Worcester Warriors enjoyed a 40-25 win at Twickenham Stoop against fellow strugglers London Irish, with Francois Hougaard and Ollie Lawrence both scoring a pair of tries.

Bristol Bears romped to a 47-10 Premiership win at home to Northampton Saints thanks to four tries in the space of 10 second-half minutes on Tuesday.

The hosts climbed back up to second in the Premiership with a comfortable victory, their second in a row after consecutive defeats last month.

Bristol earned a 21-3 half-time lead after a rush of early scores through Harry Thacker, Alapati Leiua and Andy Uren at Ashton Gate.

Northampton responded with Josh Gillespie crossing just before the hour-mark, but another flurry saw the Bears in complete control.

Luke Morahan followed Chris Vui, Ben Earl and Piers O'Conor over the try line in a big home win.

Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs extended their winning run to six matches on Friday, while Bristol Bears climbed to second.

Exeter are comfortably clear at the top of the table and have won every game they have played since the season restarted last month.

They were made to work for this latest triumph, though, edging past Northampton Saints 22-19.

The Chiefs made a fast start with tries from Sean Lonsdale and Jannes Kirsten in the first 12 minutes but trailed heading into the closing stages.

David Ribbans' double either side of a Henry Taylor score had Northampton in front, only for Tom O'Flaherty to force his way over and clinch the points.

Bristol were rather more comfortable in their 36-13 win over Worcester Warriors, their first at Sixways for more than 14 years.

A four-try second-half display eased the Bears to a big victory, which saw Worcester finish with 14 men after Andrew Kitchener was sent off for a punch in a last-minute melee.

Luke James scored two tries as Sale Sharks thrashed Bristol 40-7 to jump above their visitors and go second in the Premiership table.

Sharks made a host of changes following their midweek win at Wasps, with Tom Curry, Lood de Jager, Faf de Klerk and Manu Tuilagi among those returning, and they subsequently outclassed the Bears.

A narrow defeat to Exeter halted a seven-match winning streak last time out for Bristol and they never looked likely to bounce back here, with Sale enjoying an emphatic start that saw James and Denny Solomona touching down in the first 10 minutes, while both conversions were on the money.

De Klerk and Sam James had Sale 26 points to the good just after the half-hour mark, though Alapati Leiua went over at the other end late in the half to at least give Bristol a lifeline.

But the Sharks found their groove again early in the second period, with Luke James getting his second try before Marland Yarde grabbed Sale's sixth and last of the day – AJ MacGinty took his conversions tally to five for the match soon after.

The comfortable win sees the Sharks replace Bristol in second place, with Exeter nine points clear at the summit.

Exeter Chiefs snatched a late 25-22 win over Bristol Bears to move 11 points clear at the top of the Premiership.

The Chiefs led 15-3 at the break but tries from Piers O'Conor and Luke Morahan had Bristol ahead 13 minutes into the second half.

Gareth Steenson's penalty had Exeter ahead again, however Ioan Lloyd's try 10 minutes from time seemingly had Bristol on course for victory.

But there was a final twist in a thrilling second-half tale as prop Billy Keast forced his way over from a ruck in the final seconds.

Elsewhere, Sale Sharks leapfrogged Wasps into third place with a 20-11 victory.

Exeter Chiefs produced a second-half surge as the Premiership leaders claimed a 32-22 win at Sale Sharks.

The Chiefs trailed 14-10 at the break at AJ Bell Stadium on Friday but ran in three second-half tries to claim a bonus-point victory.

Jacques Vermeulen, Stuart Hogg and Luke Cowan-Dickie all crossed as they maintained an eight-point lead over Bristol Bears.

Second-placed Bristol earned a 33-24 derby triumph over Gloucester, scoring 26 of their points in the first half.

The Bears had three tries in 17 minutes through Max Malins, Henry Purdy and Harry Thacker, with the clinical Semi Radradra's try sandwiched by efforts from Fraser Balmain and Chris Harris for Gloucester.

Billy Twelvetrees' penalty shortly after the second-half restart narrowed the gap to nine points but loan signing Ben Earl crossed for Bristol's fifth try to render Stephen Varney's score nine minutes from time a mere consolation.

Wasps leapfrogged Sale into third place as they scored 19 second-half points to overturn a 17-13 half-time deficit and defeat Worcester Warriors 32-17.

The boot of Rob Miller kept Wasps in touch in the opening 40 minutes and Gabriel Oghre, Alfie Barbeary Tom Cruse went over in a dominant second period.

Exeter Chiefs went eight points clear at the top of the Premiership with a 26-13 bonus-point win over Leicester Tigers and Bristol Bears beat Saracens to move into second spot on Saturday.

Sale Sharks' defeat to Harlequins on Friday in the first match in the competition for five months due to the coronavirus crisis gave the Chiefs the chance to increase their lead at the summit.

Rob Baxter's men grasped that opportunity at Sandy Park, Dave Ewers and Stuart Hogg scoring first-half tries to give the leaders a 10-6 lead at the break after a George Ford drop-goal and penalty put the Tigers 6-0 up.

Luke Cowan-Dickie went over early in the second half before Exeter were awarded a penalty try, with the Tigers unable to mount an unlikely fightback after earning a penalty try of their own.

Ambitious Bristol left it late to see off already-relegated defending champions Saracens 16-12 at Ashton Gate.

A fourth Alex Goode penalty following three from Callum Sheedy gave Sarries the edge, but Bristol - who handed debuts to Semi Radradra and Kyle Sinckler - won it with a penalty try, which also resulted in Jamie George being sin-binned.

New signing Ben Spencer was among the Bath try-scorers and Tom Dunn grabbed a double in a 34-17 win over London Irish.

Jonny May's second Gloucester debut was cut short by a dangerous tackle from Melani Nanai, who was shown a red card midway through the first half and could only watch the Cherry and Whites cruise to a 44-15 victory in their first game with a revamped coaching staff.

Clubs from English rugby's Premiership have been told they cannot start training for at least two weeks, dealing a blow to hopes of a resumption in July.

Last month it was suggested Premiership clubs were working towards a best-case scenario of the league returning on the weekend of July 3-5 and playing midweek games with the hopes of an August 15 final.

However, Leicester Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy – who will step up to director of rugby in July – suggested teams will first need eight weeks to train.

With the Professional Game Board (PGB) agreeing more time is needed before sessions can safely begin, it appears August is the earliest the season can continue.

Chris Booy, chair of the PGB, said: "A meeting of the Professional Game Board was held which incorporates representatives of the Rugby Football Union, Premiership Rugby, Rugby Players Association and Championship clubs.

"The group agreed that, although a huge amount of work is being undertaken to enable a safe return to training for Premiership clubs, more time was needed to ensure that players, staff and officials can return to a safe training environment, and that is not expected to be in place for a minimum of two weeks.

"Safety and welfare remains of paramount importance to all of us in the rugby community, and we look forward to the season resuming when it is safe to do so.

"Further updates on progress will be made in due course."

The Premiership has been suspended for five weeks and the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Premiership Rugby's decision followed new guidance from the United Kingdom government on Monday.

British prime minister Boris Johnson encouraged people to avoid mass gatherings and all "non-essential" travel and contact with others.

"The safety of our fans, players and staff is our first priority, and we would like to wish all of those who are affected our heartfelt best wishes and a very speedy recovery," a Premiership Rugby statement read.

"We'll continue to work closely with DCMS [the Departure for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] and Public Health England, and to follow the advice of medical experts, and work with our clubs to help them to support their own wider communities at this time."

The decision to call off the European rugby season was taken during a conference call on Monday.

It means the matches in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup scheduled for April 3, 4 and 5 will not now go ahead as planned, although organisers hope to rearrange the fixtures for later dates.

In a statement, the board of European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said: "While respecting all further directives by governments and local authorities, EPCR, in conjunction with the relevant leagues and unions, remains committed to trying to find a solution which will enable it to complete the 2019-20 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments at such a time as that aligns with preventative measures undertaken by an overwhelming majority of sport's governing bodies and tournament organisers in Europe.  

"EPCR's priority is the health and welfare of players and club staff, and an update regarding the knockout stages of the tournaments will be communicated to all stakeholders as soon as practicable."

Luke Morahan scored two tries as Bristol Bears made it five straight wins in the Premiership by overcoming Harlequins 28-15 at Ashton Gate.

Quins shocked leaders Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Gate last weekend but found themselves behind in the opening minute on Sunday when Morahan stormed clear on the right.

Aaron Morris reduced the arrears but Morahan touched down for the second time and Chris Vui went over to help establish a 25-8 lead at the break.

Marcus Smith converted Gabriel Ibitoye's 72nd-minute score but Quins were unable to make a late charge for victory, with Alex Dombrandt seeing a try ruled out for a forward pass in the build-up.

In-form Bristol Bears moved up to third in the Premiership with a 19-13 West Country derby win at Bath and Wasps ended London Irish's winning run on Sunday.

Bath and Bristol started the showdown at a packed Rec on the back of three consecutive victories, but it was Pat Lam's side who remained on a roll to move above Northampton Saints.

Chris Vui reached out to score the opening try just five minutes in and Callum Sheedy produced a moment of magic to set up a second Bristol five-pointer, picking out Alapati Leiua with a pinpoint cross-field kick after creating space with a clever show-and-go.

A second Rhys Priestland penalty just before half-time reduced the deficit to six points, but Harry Randall's try gave Bristol breathing space - Sheedy converting for a second time.

Priestland fed Will Chudley for Bath's only try 15 minutes from time soon after he replaced debutant Rhys Webb, but Bristol hung on to keep their rivals below them in fifth spot and complete a double after hammering them on the opening day.

Wasps are up to sixth after beating the Exiles 36-26 at the Madejski Stadium.

Irish had won three in a row, but Jacob Umaga was among five Wasps try-scorers in an entertaining victory on the road.

Tom Hendrickson grabbed two tries as rampant Exeter beat Northampton 57-7 to pull eight points clear at the top of the Premiership.

Northampton arrived at Sandy Park with their hopes of being involved in a battle for first place possibly hinging on the outcome, and the thumping nature of their defeat was painful for Saints.

Hosts Exeter could not breach the try-line in the opening half-hour, having just a penalty from Joe Simmonds to show for their initial endeavours.

Jonny Hill, Elvis Taione and Jannes Kirsten then crossed in quick succession to put the Chiefs in charge by the break, building a 22-0 lead after taking advantage of a yellow card for Tom Collins.

Hendrickson went over twice in the second half, with Ben Moon, Tom O'Flaherty and Sam Simmonds taking the home side's try count to eight.

James Grayson dotted down a consolation for Northampton, who now sit fourth, nine points adrift of Exeter, with their points difference having taken a battering.

Bristol jumped above Northampton into third place after a 13-10 home win over Worcester.

Eight points from the boot of Callum Sheedy and a Luke Morahan try gave the Bears their narrow win.

Nick David's try early in the second half for Warriors, converted by Duncan Weir, and a penalty from Scott van Breda kept it tight.

However, Sheedy's second penalty of the game in the 69th minute proved to be the match-winner, leaving Worcester down in 10th place.

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