The Premiership Rugby Cup has reached its semifinal stage, with Sale, Harlequins, Exeter, and Saracens the last four standing.
The competition, which runs parallel to the Gallagher Premiership season, features 12 Premiership teams which were divided into three pool of four. The winners of each pool and then the best runner-up progressed to the semifinals.
Sale, Harlequins, and Exeter won their respective pools, while the Saracens' 3-1 record was enough to see them lock down the top runner-up spot.
As it is, Exeter will host the Harlequins at Sandy Park, and Saracens will travel to Sale's AJ Bell Stadium.
Exeter Chiefs vs Harlequins
It's been a cracking start for Exeter this season, as the Chiefs sit atop the Gallagher Premiership table, are set to host a Heineken Champions Cup Quarterfinal, and also get to host a Premiership Rugby Cup semifinal. Exeter is still capable of pulling off the unprecedented "Treble", which would be winning all three trophies.
It is now confirmed that we will play @SaintsRugby in a @ChampionsCup Quarter-Final— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) January 19, 2020
Further information regarding ticketing and other information for this fixture will be confirmed as soon as possible pic.twitter.com/cQe9MzRwLj
The Harlequins have enjoyed a mediocre campaign thus far, sitting middle of the pack in the Gallagher Premiership and finishing middle of the pack in their Champions Cup pool. However, they can still salvage some hardware this season if they win the Premiership Rugby Cup. Reaching the final, however, will not come easy when they travel to Sandy Park, where Exeter have won eight of nine this season.
Sale Sharks vs Saracens
The Sale Sharks are currently a respectable fourth place in the Gallagher Premiership, but in such a tight competition, your spot is never safe. And in the Champions Cup, the Sharks went a paltry 1-5 through pool play, finishing last place in the group. So, for Sale, hosting a Premiership Cup semifinal is a big deal and an opportunity to make a serious run at a trophy this year.
Saracens have had, to say the least, a whirlwind season to date. Having been the unquestioned juggernaut dynasty of the past decade, the Sarries appear to be approaching the beginning of the end, following the discovery that they had breached the league salary cap regulations three-years running.
The fall out from that has been a $6.8 million fine, a 35 point deduction in the Gallagher Premiership league table, and automatic relegation to the RFU Championship for next year.
The Saracens' saving grace is that they are still alive in the Champions Cup, and still have a chance to claim the Premiership Rugby Cup. Last year, Sarries nearly pulled off the aforementioned "Treble", but were upended in the Premiership Rugby Cup final by Northampton, 23-9.
If they're to redeem themselves this season, they will have to first travel to Sale and avenge their lone loss in pool play, a 17-36 defeat at home back in September.