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The last 7 losers of the Premiership final-and what happened next

Bath fell agonisingly short against Northampton Saints on Saturday, but it’s not all doom and gloom for Johann van Graan’s men after the Premiership final defeat. 

The previous 7 years have seen the losing teams in a Premiership final recover brilliantly to lift the title the following year, and in some cases even go onto win European glory too.

Here is a full breakdown of the last 7 losers of the Premiership final, and what happened to them the year after.

2023: Sale Sharks

The latest team on our list, Sale Sharks finished second last season, and just got the upper hand over Leicester Tigers in the semi-finals. They also dominated much of the final, and were just 10 minutes away from the title before a late Saracens resurgence snatched the victory away. The emotional toll of that final defeat looked to have lingered at the start of this season, but a good run of form propelled them into the semi-finals. In similar fashion to their last defeat at Twickenham, a late Bath try denied Sale a spot in this season’s final.

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2022: Saracens 

Fresh from their Championship triumph a year previous, Saracens were back at the top table of English rugby. They finished second in the league that season, and stormed past defending champions Harlequins in the semi-finals too, but Freddie Burns’ late drop-goal helped Leicester Tigers beat them in the final. A year later though, Saracens were back to winning ways as they beat Sale Sharks in the final.

2021: Exeter Chiefs 

Fresh from winning the double, and now without Saracens in the picture, everyone thought it was Exeter’s year in 2021; but they were narrowly beaten by Harlequins in one of the greatest Premiership finals of all time. A year later, though, Rob Baxter’s side missed out on the play-offs for the first time since 2016 as they finished seventh in the table.

2020: Wasps

Wasps again lost to Exeter Chiefs in the 2020 final, but this was their last year competing at the top of English rugby. They struggled to get going the following season, and ended up eighth in the table. They would go under just one year later too.

2019: Exeter Chiefs 

Another final defeat to Saracens in 2019 looked to have ended the Chiefs aspirations of a title shot, however the following season would be their best-ever year. The Chiefs yet again finished top of the table, however they would finally get over the line in the big dance as they beat Wasps. 2020 was also the year Exeter lifted their first ever Champions Cup title, as they beat Racing 92 in the final.

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2018: Exeter Chiefs 

2018 saw the Exeter finish top of the table for the very first time, however they slipped to another defeat to Saracens in the final. They responded brilliantly in the regular season, finishing top once more; but the ending had an all too familiar tone as they lost to Saracens again in the final.

2017: Wasps

A late Gareth Steenson penalty sent the 2017 final to extra-time, however it would end with Exeter lifting their first ever Premiership title. The following season was another strong one for Wasps though. They finished third in the table during the regular season, however they eventually fell to defeat in the semi-finals against Saracens.

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