Exeter Chiefs completed a domestic and European double as they overcame Wasps 19-13 in the Premiership final. 

The Chiefs saw off Racing 92 to win the European Champions Cup for the first time last week and capped their domestic dominance at Twickenham on Saturday. 

Henry Slade scored their only try, with Joe Simmonds starring with the boot to settle a cagey final. 

There had been doubt over whether Wasps – who overcame Bristol Bears in the semi-finals – would even be able to play when 11 COVID-19 cases were confirmed among their players and staff this week, though subsequent tests came up negative. 

Jimmy Gopperth's early penalty put them ahead before Slade went over to nose Exeter in front in west London. 

Jacob Umaga's try restored Wasps' lead, but Simmonds converted two penalties to ensure Exeter took a three-point lead into the interval. 

Though a second Gopperth penalty pegged Exeter back, it was Simmonds who had the final say, with two more three-pointers ultimately securing the Chiefs' second Premiership title despite Wasps' late push. 

Wasps will take part in the Premiership final against Exeter Chiefs after the club reported no further coronavirus cases in the latest round of testing. 

Having secured their place at Twickenham by defeating Bristol Bears in the semi-finals, Wasps' involvement in the game was put in doubt when 11 COVID-19 cases were confirmed among players and staff. 

However, the Coventry-based club announced no further cases were discovered in tests on Tuesday, clearing them to play against Exeter. 

The squad will return to training as they prepare for Saturday's big game, which will see the top two in the table at the end of the regular season go up against each other for the title.  

Bristol had been on standby to step in at short notice, but a late change to the schedule will not now be required. 

"I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Premiership Rugby, the RFU, Public Health England and Public Health Warwickshire for their clarity and assistance throughout this whole process,” Stephen Vaughan, Wasps Group CEO, said. 

"As a club, we are delighted that we can now take our rightful place in this Saturday's Premiership Rugby final. To all of our fans and well-wishers, thank you for your many messages of support, this final is for you!".

Wasps have made it through to the final for the first time since 2017, when they lost 23-20 to the Chiefs after extra time.

As for Exeter, this will be their fifth straight appearance in the showpiece fixture. The newly crowned Champions Cup winners have lost the last two, both to Saracens.

Exeter Chiefs were rewarded for a blistering start and heroic defence as they won the European Champions Cup for the first time with a thrilling 31-27 win over Racing 92.

The Chiefs charged into a 14-point lead less than midway through the first half of a pulsating final at Ashton Gate, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Sam Simmonds going over.

Harry Williams added a third try just before half-time after Simon Zebo and Juan Imhoff crossed at the other end in a breathless contest in Bristol.

Zebo finished for a second time, but a poor pass from Finn Russell - who laid on both scores for the Irish winger - resulted in a Henry Slade try that gave Exeter breathing space. 

Racing roared back again, Camille Chat touching down and Maxime Machenaud - who hit the post with one conversion attempt - reducing Exeter's lead to only a point with a penalty.

Exeter were a man down after Tomas Francis' yellow card eight minutes from time, but they defended for their lives and Joe Simmonds took his tally to 11 points with the last kick of the game.

The Chiefs can complete an incredible double if they win the Premiership next weekend a decade after they were promoted to the top flight for the first time, while Racing have now been runners-up in three of the past four years as their wait to win the trophy goes on.

Exeter made a storming start with the forwards dominating, Cowan-Dickie crashing over when Racing were unable to stop a driving maul eight minutes in and Sam Simmonds crossing from short range.

Joe Simmonds converted both scores, but after looking shellshocked early on, the Top 14 heavyweights came to life and Russell fed Zebo for his first score in the corner.

The clinical Imhoff caught Exeter out with a show-and-go, but Rob Baxter's side led 21-12 at half-time after Williams scored just before the break follow a sustained spell of pressure.

Racing responded following the interval, Zebo capitalising on slack defending by bouncing off a tackle and spinning to touch down, having taken another pass from Russell, but Machenaud's conversion attempt hit the upright.

Slade was somewhat fortunate not to make contact with Imhoff's head in a tackle and he capitalised by going under the posts after Russell's poor pass was intercepted by Jack Nowell.

Racing hit back again, powerful Chat ploughing over following a driving maul and Machenaud adding the extras, then cutting the gap to a point with a penalty after 64 minutes.

Francis was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, but Exeter held on and Joe Simmonds had the final say to make it an English European double after Bristol Bears beat Toulon in the Challenge Cup final on Friday.

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.

Racing 92 or Exeter Chiefs will be crowned champions of Europe for the first time after beating defending champions Saracens and Toulouse respectively on Saturday.

Juan Imhoff's brilliant late try secured a 19-15 victory for Racing in the first semi-final at La Defense Arena, ending Sarries' hopes of winning the Champions Cup for the fourth time in five seasons.

Five Alex Goode penalties gave Saracens – relegated from the Premiership for salary-cap breaches – a lead of six points with 13 minutes to go in Paris.

Maxime Machenaud struck Racing's fourth penalty of the game following three from Teddy Iribaren to reduce the deficit and Imhoff raced away to score four minutes from time after taking a pass from Virimi Vakatawa, who was picked out by a clever Finn Russell kick.

Machenaud converted and the 2016 and 2018 runners-up held on to dump out Sarries, who lost captain Brad Barritt to injury in the final quarter of a gripping contest.

Exeter will play Racing in their first Champions Cup final on October 17 at Ashton Gate, Bristol after defeating Toulouse 28-18.

The Chiefs kept their Premiership and Champions Cup double dreams alive with a powerful performance, Harry Williams scoring two of their four tries at Sandy Park.

Joe Simmonds scored a try and eight points from the tee, while his brother Sam also crossed to deny four-time European champions a place in an all-Top 14 showdown.

Alban Placines and Matthis Lebel scored Toulouse's tries, the latter coming when the damage had already been done.

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.

Alfie Barbeary scored a memorable hat-trick as Wasps destroyed Leicester Tigers to keep up their Premiership play-off bid.

Malakai Fekitoa and Tom West scored after Cameron Henderson had put Tigers ahead, giving Wasps a seven-point advantage at half-time at the Ricoh Arena.

The visitors, captained by Ellis Genge for the first time, came unstuck in the second half as they endured the biggest league defeat in their history.

Barbeary's treble came as Jacob Umaga, Sam Spink and Zach Kibirige also went over, while Leicester lost Ben Youngs and Guy Porter to the sin bin in an ill-disciplined display.

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett said of 19-year-old Barbeary, who was making his first Premiership start: "He's a big project and he's nowhere near the finished article.

"There are plenty of areas of his game he needs to keep working on. We're trying to manage him by picking him in the back row."

Wasps are fourth in the table, a point above Bath, who claimed a 40-15 win over Worcester Warriors thanks largely to 15 points from Josh Matavesi.

Leaders Exeter Chiefs made certain of their own play-off spot after downing Gloucester 35-22.

Joe Simmonds converted all five tries, including his brother Sam's, as the leaders made it seven wins in a row despite allowing Gloucester late scores through Matt Banahan and Josh Gray.

Sale Sharks moved into second with a 24-17 win over Saracens, who were without the banned Owen Farrell, while London Irish suffered an eighth straight defeat after surrendering a 15-10 half-time lead to lose 38-15 to Harlequins.

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.

Sam Simmonds and Jonny Hill scored hat-tricks as Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs routed Worcester 59-7 to go 14 points clear at the top.

The home team were at their formidable best, with Worcester's consolation try from Ashley Beck the last score of the game.

By half-time the lead was up to 38-0, with second-row forward Hill having already completed a hat-trick and Simmonds dotting down twice.

Jack Nowell also got in on the act before the break, and the rampant scoring continued beyond the interval, with Stuart Hogg, Jacques Vermeulen and Simmonds going over.

Joe Simmonds almost matched his brother's 15-point haul, falling one short as he booted seven conversions.

At Kingsholm, Ollie Thorley went one better than the hat-trick feats of Simmonds and Hill, plundering four tries in the opening 30 minutes of Gloucester's 46-30 win over Leicester Tigers.

The 23-year-old winger did his England prospects no harm, having already caught the eye of Eddie Jones, by showing a clinical finisher's touch.

Joe Simpson, Chris Harris and Lloyd Evans also crossed for Gloucester, with tries from Harry Potter, Jordan Taufua and Cameron Henderson leading a forlorn Tigers fightback after the home team's early onslaught.

Chris Robshaw and Chris Ashton were among the home team's scorers as Harlequins beat Northampton Saints 30-17 at Twickenham Stoop, in a mid-table battle.

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."

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