What day of the week is matchday for the 12 Premiership clubs?
It's perhaps one of the most divisive subjects amongst supporters, clubs & broadcasters, what day of the week & what time is kick-off. Once upon a time, it seems ever longer ago, you knew that Saturday afternoon was the time for first class rugby matches to be played in England. But now only 57% of the regular season matches, in the 4 major competitions that English clubs play in, are played sometime on a Saturday (from the start of the 2017/18 season to the end of March 2018).
The move away from Saturday afternoons is primarily due to broadcasters showing more live matches involving English clubs, in England. But it is also due to clubs' preferences & to clubs ground sharing. For league & pool matches, in the 4 major competitions, live TV coverage, in England is now around: 100% of Champions Cup matches, 50% of Premiership matches (100% are 'broadcast' live but not for the domestic market), 20% of Challenge Cup matches & 20% of Anglo-Welsh matches. This is complicated further by 6 international weekends during the November Tests & 6Nations taking place when all Premiership clubs are playing, either in Premiership or in the pool stage of Anglo-Welsh Cup & both clubs & broadcasters scheduling matches to avoid certain or all of the International matches. Again once upon a time, all 5Nations / 6Nations kicked-off at the same time but now they all kick-off at different times, so they can all be broadcast live.
The following lists home matches for all 12 Premiership clubs, ranked by the number of home matches played on a Saturday. The 14 matches listed are the league & pool matches for the 4 major competitions (Premiership, Champions Cup, Challenge Cup & Anglo-Welsh Cup) from the start of the season to the end of March 2018. It does NOT include knockout stage matches in any competition, so that the results are as comparable as possible between the 12 Premiership clubs. Worthy of note is that all Champions Cup pool matches have live TV coverage in the UK but this does not apply in Challenge Cup.
It's assumed that all 12 Premiership clubs wish to play matches on a Saturday afternoon & have no restrictions on when they can play, unless stated specifically below (although there may be specific restrictions on a particular weekend due to a local event, these are not listed). Clubs are allowed to specify their preferred matchday & their preferred alternate, if required for TV.
Bath - no restrictions
Exeter - prohibited from playing matches on Fridays due to traffic issues
Gloucester - no restrictions
Harlequins - not when England are playing at Twickenham
Leicester - not when Leicester FC are playing at home.
London Irish - restricted by shared stadium & when Reading FC are playing
Newcastle - preferred matchday varies
Northampton - no restrictions
Sale - preferred matchday was Friday but preferred matchday is now Saturday
Saracens - prohibited from playing matches on Fridays due to traffic issues
Wasps - preferred matchday is usually Sunday
Worcester - preferred matchday was Friday but preferred matchday is now Saturday