Newcastle Falcons’ Gallagher Premiership return will begin away at Bath on Saturday November 21, with fixtures for the 2020-21 season having been announced.
Dates and times are confirmed for the first six rounds, with all subsequent matches depending on TV picks.
Following their opening-day assignment at Bath the Falcons host Sale Sharks in the league’s northern derby on Friday November 27, live on BT Sport, followed by a trip to Wasps in round three.
The festive season sees Leicester Tigers visiting Kingston Park Stadium on Boxing Day, with a trip to Bristol Bears on New Year’s Day being the team’s first assignment of 2021.
The closing stretch of the campaign brings London Irish, Worcester Warriors and Northampton Saints to the North East, with the final round of regular-season action seeing a trip to Harlequins on Saturday June 12.
Newcastle’s 22 Gallagher Premiership games will be supplemented by a further four during the pool stages of the European Challenge Cup, with the opposition not yet known for the new-look tournament.
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “There is a huge sense of excitement around our return to the Gallagher Premiership, and everyone at the club is buzzing.
“In terms of the fixture list we have to play everyone twice regardless, so I’m not one to get overly hung up on these things, but it does add a sense of structure and helps put things together from a planning perspective.
“We’ve got a double-header of pre-season friendlies against Ealing Trailfinders on November 7 and 13 to ensure we’re match sharp by the time the Premiership gets underway, and with the signings we’ve made we believe we’re in good shape to compete strongly over the course of the campaign.”
The Falcons have added eight new faces to their squad in the form of Matias Orlando (Jaguares), Louis Schreuder (Sharks), Luther Burrell (Warrington Wolves RL), Marco Fuser (Benetton Treviso), Tom Penny (Harlequins), Pete Lucock (Doncaster Knights), Robbie Smith (Bedford Blues) and Iwan Stephens (Leeds Rhinos RL), while James Blackett, Matthew Ward and Phil Brantingham all step up into the senior academy.
The club are also boosted by the return of England back-rower Mark Wilson from his loan spell at Sale Sharks, the Cumbrian installed as club captain, while former England No 8 Nick Easter joins as defence coach following a successful three seasons in South Africa.
NEWCASTLE FALCONS’ 2020-21 FIXTURES
(Home games in capitals)
Sat Nov 7: Ealing Trailfinders (3pm, friendly)
FRI NOV 13: EALING TRAILFINDERS (3pm, friendly)
Sat Nov 21: Bath Rugby (12.30pm)
FRI NOV 27: SALE SHARKS (7.45pm, live on BT Sport)
Sat Dec 5: Wasps (3pm)
Dec 11-13: European Challenge Cup pool game
Dec 18-20: European Challenge Cup pool game
SAT DEC 26: LEICESTER TIGERS (2pm)
Fri Jan 1: Bristol Bears (7.45pm)
SAT JAN 9 GLOUCESTER RUGBY (3pm)
Jan 15-17: European Challenge Cup pool game
Jan 22-24: European Challenge Cup pool game
Jan 29-31: London Irish
FEB 5-7: EXETER CHIEFS
Feb 12-14: Northampton Saints
Feb 19-21: Worcester Warriors
FEB 26-28: HARLEQUINS
Mar 5-7: Sale Sharks
MAR 12-14: BATH RUGBY
MAR 19-21 WASPS
Mar 26-28: Leicester Tigers
Apr 2-4: European Challenge Cup quarter-finals
Apr 9-11: European Challenge Cup quarter-finals
APR 16-18 BRISTOL BEARS
Apr 23-25: Gloucester Rugby
Apr 30 - May 2: European Challenge Cup semi-finals
MAY 7-9: LONDON IRISH
MAY 15-17: NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
May 21: European Challenge Cup final (Marseille)
May 28-30: Exeter Chiefs
JUN 4-6: WORCESTER WARRIORS
Jun 11-13: Harlequins
Jun 18-20: Gallagher Premiership semi-finals
Jun 26: Gallagher Premiership final
All Gallagher Premiership games up to and including Saturday January 9 have confirmed dates and times. All Premiership games after this date are yet to be confirmed, pending TV picks.