Aviva Premiership 2013: Full Fixture List and Standings Ahead of Week 3

Matt Cheetham@@Matt_CheethamCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13:  Kahn Fotuali'i of Northampton breaks with ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Harlequins and Northampton Saints at Twickenham Stoop on September 13, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

Rugby fans have already been spoiled by a Lions win in Australia and the Chiefs' Super XV success, so the Aviva Premiership has much to live up to following an enthralling summer of rugby.

Two games in and already the Premiership has pair of heavily-fancied frontrunners in Saracens and Northampton, and Week 3 throws up several intriguing contests as the league begins to take shape.

Here's a full guide to Week 3, complete with current standings, fixtures and a few predictions along the way.

Gloucester vs. Northampton

The first fixture that jumps out is Northampton's trip to Kingsholm, which sees two rivals experiencing contrasting starts to the season.

Gloucester currently prop up the table, having suffered a narrow defeat against Sale Sharks and a thumping loss at the hands of Saracens.

The visitors arrive on the back of an imposing win over Exeter Chiefs, before last week's hard-fought win at Harlequins.

Expect Saints to dominate this game in the pack, with their superior front row led by Dylan Hartley and new signing, Alex Corbisiero. That should provide a steady supply of possession for the backs to rack up the points and secure a third win on the bounce.

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Worcester vs. Harlequins

After a tough home loss to Northampton, Harlequins will be eager to return to winning ways against a Worcester side with two painful defeats already behind them.

The Friday evening match match kicks off the weekend's games, and expect this to be one of the more entertaining affairs as Harlequins bring their attacking brand of fast, fluid rugby to Sixways.

Dean Ryan will have his side well prepared for the visitors' threat, but Quins should have enough fire-power to condemn the Warriors to a third-straight loss.

Saracens vs. Bath

The weekend culminates with a clash between sides whose fortunes have taken opposing trajectories over the past few years.

Bath, a dominant force in the 1980s and early 1990s, have found it harder to mount a league challenge over the last decade. They face a Saracens side who have risen to prominence in recent few years and last season topped the table before the playoffs.

The hosts have enjoyed an emphatic start to their campaign, posting over 40 points in both games. However, Bath are also unbeaten, with impressive wins over Newcastle and Leicester and victory at the Allianz Park will create considerable hype around Gary Gold's side.

But it's a tough ask for any side to take points away from Saracens, especially at home.

While this game should be close, expect league leaders Saracens to prevail.