The English Premiership season is set to resume with Harlequins facing Sale Sharks on 14 August.

The competition will become the first major one in the northern hemisphere to return to action after play was suspended in March due to the pandemic.

In the opening restarted fixture, a host of Sale-based South Africans such as Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager could be in action, while it will be interesting to see whether the Harlequins’ new recruits Andre Esterhuizen and Tyrone Green will be available.

As part of a demanding schedule after the decision was taken to complete the season in full, there will be nine rounds and then the semi-finals, with the title decider scheduled for 24 October.

There will also be THE introduction of three midweek fixtures and Monday night games for the first time.

The first match of the resumed season, will see Sale Sharks travel to the Twickenham Stoop for a 7.45pm (8.45pm SA time) kick-off, one of four games expected to be televised live on the opening weekend of fixtures since the league was suspended in March.

Following the opener in west London there will be four compelling matches on Saturday at Bath Rugby, Worcester Warriors, Bristol Bears and leaders Exeter Chiefs before the weekend ends at Franklin’s Gardens where Northampton Saints face Wasps.

Darren Childs, Chief Executive at Premiership Rugby said: ‘With just over a month to go, we are delighted to be on track to bring rugby back to fans and see our players out in competition. The good news I can bring is that the Premiership will be back a little earlier than we previously announced with the first game scheduled on 14 August. I must thank all of our players, clubs, partners, the RFU and RPA who have all supported us on this journey, and we are now cautiously optimistic for a safe return to the season.’

For all the Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures click here

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Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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