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England - National championship Season: Competition overview
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Courage League
Division 2
Division 3
Division 4
Regional Division 1

Courage League 1996/97

Overview
The best team in the table, Wasps, was proclamed national champion. The 2 worst teams (West Hartlepool and Orrell) were relegated to Premiership 2 (former National League 2), while teams placed 9th (Bristol Rugby) and 10th (London Irish) had to play a home and away playoff against the 3rd (Coventry) and the 4th (Bedford Blues) of National League 2 to preserve their place in Premiership.
Teams placed between 1st and 4th place (Wasps, Bath, Harlequins e Leicester Tigers) qualified for Heineken Cup. For Challenge Cup qualifying criterium was the admission to Premiership.
Points were awarded as follows: 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw.

The league was sponsored by Courage Brewery.

Regular season
Pos.TeamPtsPldWDLFADiff
1Wasps37221813685406279Winner
2Bath31221516836411425
3Harlequins30221507745416329
4Leicester Tigers29221417600395205
5Sale Sharks2822132760352578
6Saracens25221219568449119
7Gloucester232211110476589-113
8Northampton Saints20221001251547738
9Bristol Rugby17228113432625-193Qualified for playout
10London Irish12226016502747-245
11West Hartlepool6223019382795-413Relegated
12Orrell6223019350886-536

BathBristol
Rugby
GloucesterHarlequinsLeicester
Tigers
London
Irish
Northampton
Saints
OrrellSale
Sharks
SaracensWaspsWest
Hartlepool
Bath-76-771-2135-2047-946-352-1440-1484-735-3336-4046-10
Bristol
Rugby
13-18-18-1324-3512-3826-3820-1138-1034-2411-2118-4120-17
Gloucester29-4520-20-11-2732-3029-1919-630-012-169-628-2337-10
Harlequins22-629-675-19-18-3466-736-1689-1830-3127-022-4248-10
Leicester
Tigers
28-2553-1932-1412-13-46-1323-936-1425-922-1818-1248-3
London
Irish
31-5627-2820-2120-1925-18-34-2127-4819-2523-3720-2252-41
Northampton
Saints
9-629-2125-2715-2022-1931-21-41-730-1217-1015-2646-20
Orrell13-5627-283-4920-5612-2932-2714-50-8-4022-4427-4422-15
Sale
Sharks
11-531-3352-1224-1320-2041-2531-1537-11-33-2331-3358-18
Saracens36-2933-1541-1128-2025-2345-024-2324-1517-17-15-2851-8
Wasps25-2515-1336-1017-1914-731-1818-1362-536-1036-21-36-12
West
Hartlepool
16-2419-814-2321-4119-3018-3317-5724-822-4325-1623-48-

Playout
Playout
Bedford Blues
5/7/1997 - 11-20
5/11/1997 - 12-19
Bristol Rugby
Bristol Rugby
Coventry
5/7/1997 - 16-14
5/11/1997 - 7-28
London Irish
London Irish

Matches schedule
11/05/1997 - Playout
Bristol Rugby - Bedford Blues19-12
London Irish - Coventry28-7
07/05/1997 - Playout
Bedford Blues - Bristol Rugby11-20
Coventry - London Irish16-14
04/05/1997 - Regular season
Bristol Rugby - West Hartlepool20-17
03/05/1997 - Regular season
Harlequins - Wasps22-42
London Irish - Orrell27-48
Northampton Saints - Gloucester25-27
Sale Sharks - Leicester Tigers20-20
Saracens - Bath36-29
30/04/1997 - Regular season
Bath - Gloucester71-21
Harlequins - Northampton Saints36-16
Saracens - London Irish45-0
26/04/1997 - Regular season
Bath - Sale Sharks84-7
Gloucester - Bristol Rugby20-20
Leicester Tigers - Harlequins12-13
Northampton Saints - Wasps15-26
Orrell - Saracens22-44
West Hartlepool - London Irish18-33
23/04/1997 - Regular season
Sale Sharks - London Irish41-25
20/04/1997 - Regular season
Wasps - Sale Sharks36-10
19/04/1997 - Regular season
Bath - Orrell40-14
Bristol Rugby - London Irish26-38
Gloucester - Harlequins11-27
Leicester Tigers - Saracens22-18
West Hartlepool - Northampton Saints17-57
16/04/1997 - Regular season
London Irish - Leicester Tigers25-18
15/04/1997 - Regular season
Harlequins - Bristol Rugby29-6
Sale Sharks - Saracens33-23
12/04/1997 - Regular season
Bath - Leicester Tigers47-9
Northampton Saints - London Irish31-21
Orrell - Bristol Rugby27-28
Sale Sharks - Gloucester52-12
Saracens - Wasps15-28
09/04/1997 - Regular season
Harlequins - Saracens27-0
08/04/1997 - Regular season
Gloucester - Leicester Tigers32-30
06/04/1997 - Regular season
Wasps - Bath25-25
05/04/1997 - Regular season
Bristol Rugby - Northampton Saints20-11
Gloucester - Saracens9-6
Leicester Tigers - Orrell36-14
London Irish - Harlequins20-19
West Hartlepool - Sale Sharks22-43
02/04/1997 - Regular season
Leicester Tigers - Wasps18-12
Sale Sharks - Bath11-5
30/03/1997 - Regular season
Saracens - West Hartlepool51-8
29/03/1997 - Regular season
Orrell - Northampton Saints14-50
27/03/1997 - Regular season
West Hartlepool - Bath16-24
26/03/1997 - Regular season
Wasps - London Irish31-18
22/03/1997 - Regular season
Bristol Rugby - Sale Sharks34-24
Harlequins - West Hartlepool48-10
Wasps - Orrell62-5
09/03/1997 - Regular season
Sale Sharks - Northampton Saints31-15
Saracens - Bristol Rugby33-15
Wasps - Gloucester36-10
08/03/1997 - Regular season
Bath - London Irish46-3
Leicester Tigers - West Hartlepool48-3
Orrell - Harlequins20-56
04/03/1997 - Regular season
Gloucester - Northampton Saints19-6
Leicester Tigers - Sale Sharks25-9
Saracens - Orrell24-15
23/02/1997 - Regular season
Wasps - West Hartlepool36-12
22/02/1997 - Regular season
Bristol Rugby - Bath13-18
Orrell - London Irish32-27
18/02/1997 - Regular season
Bristol Rugby - Gloucester18-13
08/02/1997 - Regular season
Gloucester - Orrell30-0
Harlequins - Sale Sharks30-31
Northampton Saints - Saracens17-10
West Hartlepool - Wasps23-48
19/01/1997 - Regular season
Bath - Northampton Saints52-14
Saracens - Harlequins28-20
18/01/1997 - Regular season
Gloucester - West Hartlepool37-10
Leicester Tigers - Bristol Rugby53-19
Orrell - Sale Sharks8-40
11/01/1997 - Regular season
Bristol Rugby - Wasps18-41
Harlequins - Bath22-6
London Irish - Gloucester20-21
Northampton Saints - Leicester Tigers22-19
West Hartlepool - Orrell24-8
05/01/1997 - Regular season
Wasps - Harlequins17-19
04/01/1997 - Regular season
Bath - Saracens35-33
West Hartlepool - Bristol Rugby19-8
28/12/1996 - Regular season
Harlequins - Leicester Tigers18-34
London Irish - West Hartlepool52-41
Wasps - Northampton Saints18-13
18/12/1996 - Regular season
Bristol Rugby - Leicester Tigers12-38
08/12/1996 - Regular season
Leicester Tigers - Northampton Saints23-9
Saracens - Sale Sharks17-17
07/12/1996 - Regular season
Bath - Harlequins35-20
Gloucester - London Irish29-19
Orrell - West Hartlepool22-15
Wasps - Bristol Rugby15-13
16/11/1996 - Regular season
London Irish - Wasps20-22
Orrell - Gloucester3-49
09/11/1996 - Regular season
Northampton Saints - Bath9-6
Sale Sharks - Orrell37-11
West Hartlepool - Gloucester14-23
30/10/1996 - Regular season
Leicester Tigers - London Irish46-13
Sale Sharks - Harlequins24-13
29/10/1996 - Regular season
Bath - Bristol Rugby76-7
Saracens - Northampton Saints24-23
06/10/1996 - Regular season
Gloucester - Wasps28-23
05/10/1996 - Regular season
Bristol Rugby - Saracens11-21
Harlequins - Orrell89-18
London Irish - Bath31-56
Northampton Saints - Sale Sharks30-12
West Hartlepool - Leicester Tigers19-30
28/09/1996 - Regular season
Bath - West Hartlepool46-10
Leicester Tigers - Gloucester32-14
London Irish - Saracens23-37
Northampton Saints - Harlequins15-20
Orrell - Wasps27-44
Sale Sharks - Bristol Rugby31-33
22/09/1996 - Regular season
Wasps - Leicester Tigers14-7
21/09/1996 - Regular season
Bristol Rugby - Harlequins24-35
Gloucester - Bath29-45
London Irish - Sale Sharks19-25
Northampton Saints - Orrell41-7
West Hartlepool - Saracens25-16
14/09/1996 - Regular season
Bath - Wasps36-40
Harlequins - London Irish66-7
Northampton Saints - Bristol Rugby29-21
Orrell - Leicester Tigers12-29
Sale Sharks - West Hartlepool58-18
Saracens - Gloucester41-11
08/09/1996 - Regular season
Wasps - Saracens36-21
07/09/1996 - Regular season
Bristol Rugby - Orrell38-10
Gloucester - Sale Sharks12-16
Leicester Tigers - Bath28-25
London Irish - Northampton Saints34-21
West Hartlepool - Harlequins21-41
31/08/1996 - Regular season
Harlequins - Gloucester75-19
London Irish - Bristol Rugby27-28
Northampton Saints - West Hartlepool46-20
Orrell - Bath13-56
Sale Sharks - Wasps31-33
Saracens - Leicester Tigers25-23