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Why Bristol are more likely to win the Premiership than Leicester

Northampton Saints will qualify for the Gallagher Premiership play-offs. Gloucester and Newcastle Falcons will not. That’s it. That’s about all we can be certain of.

With four rounds of games to come in the regular season, trying to predict who will finish in the top four is a mug’s game. Only seven points separate second-placed Bath from Sale Sharks in eighth, and Bath have lost Finn Russell, their talismanic No 10, to a groin injury. These two clubs have one advantage over the majority of their rivals: they have still to face Newcastle, who are without a win all season (played 14, lost 14). Newcastle are fighting but those games are five-point musts for any genuine contenders.

The only other challengers who come up

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