The final placings were decided in Round 22 of Aviva Premiership Rugby as Wasps’ victory over Newcastle Falcons secured them a semi-final against Saracens, while Leicester Tigers’ win over Sale Sharks means they will be playing Champions Cup rugby next season.

Exeter Chiefs continued their fine form with a triumph over Harlequins, while Bath Rugby also saw a comfortable victory over London Irish at the Rec to confirm their place at Europe’s top table.

There was some scintillating rugby as Northampton Saints beat Worcester Warriors, and the final round of the regular season, where all six games were played concurrently, was rounded off as Saracens overpowered Gloucester Rugby.

Ford guides Tigers into Champions Cup

England fly-half George Ford scored 20 points in a controlling display that saw him guide his Leicester Tigers team to a 35-13 win over Sale Sharks.

The win means Leicester finish fifth in the Aviva Premiership Rugby standings and will play Champions Cup rugby next season.

Exclusive footage of @Williams4_Mike dive for his FIRST EVER #TigersFamily try!! #SALvLEIpic.twitter.com/fdkbJjh0f5

— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) May 5, 2018

Jonah Holmes scored twice with Mike Williams and Ford, set up by international team-mate Ben Youngs, also on the scoresheet.

England winger Jonny May also had a busy afternoon, playing a part in the build-up to two of the four Tigers tries, while Marland Yarde got the Sharks only try with AJ MacGinty kicking two penalties and a conversion.

Wasps turn on the style at Kingston Park

Elliot Daly produced a stellar display as Wasps booked a semi-final clash at second-placed Saracens by beating Newcastle Falcons 39-22.

The Falcons will face table-toppers Exeter Chiefs in a fortnight’s time after Wasps beat them to third place in an action-packed contest.

FT: Wasps score six tries to win 22-39 against Newcastle Falcons. That means we will head to Allianz Park in the semi finals on Saturday May 19 to take on Saracens 12:30 KO. Match reaction to follow… pic.twitter.com/jiK2uhzuBE

— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) May 5, 2018

Wasps were in control for much of it, with tries from Tom Cruse, Daly, Danny Cipriani, Josh Bassett and Jimmy Gopperth giving them a healthy lead.

Newcastle hit back though, with Josh Matavesi, Zach Kibirige and Evan Olmstead crossing the whitewash before Willie Le Roux secured the points, and third place, late on.

Banahan finishes with an almighty flourish

Matt Banahan signed off as a Bath Rugby player in style as he bagged a hat-trick to fire his team to a sixth-placed Aviva Premiership Rugby finish.

The 31-year-old, who is joining Gloucester Rugby next season, went over three times as Todd Blackadder’s troops humbled relegated London Irish 63-19 – a result that also saw them clinch qualification for next term’s European Rugby Champions Cup.

A fitting reception for a true @bathrugby legend. Thank you @mattbanahan1 🔵⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/u3eHxnYSZe

— Bath Rugby (@bathrugby) May 5, 2018

James Wilson recorded two tries for Bath while Taulupe Faletau, Cooper Vuna, Elliott Stooke and Will Vaughan all also got in on the act, with Rhys Priestland kicking ten points and Freddie Burns eight.

Josh McNally went over twice for the Exiles, as did debutant Ben Loader, while David Paice brought the curtain down on his career by booting a last-gasp conversion in his final match before retirement.

Chiefs cruise past Quins

Joe Simmonds provided the brain and Dave Ewers the brawn as Exeter Chiefs warmed up for the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals in fine style by blowing away Harlequins 41-17 at the Stoop.

The in-form Chiefs had four tries before the interval as they hit the gas in the sunshine to claim an eighth win in a row over Quins and their ninth on the spin in all competitions.

75 Chiefs finishing strongly. Another TRY after concerted efforts in the 5m zone. @HepburnAlec gets the final touch

17-39#HARvEXEpic.twitter.com/hIpLXhFvjx

— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) May 5, 2018

Ewers scored one and made another for Dave Dennis – who bagged a double – while Simmonds impressed all afternoon and grabbed the fourth before half-time.

Quins had Mike Brown and Marcus Smith both go over but they end the regular season with five defeats in a row.

The table-topping Chiefs now look forward to their semi-final with Newcastle Falcons at Sandy Park in a fortnight’s time – Alec Hepburn and Tom Hendrickson both going over late on to add gloss to the scoreline.

England stars shine as Saracens run riot

Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell both crossed the whitewash as Saracens prepared for the semi-finals with a crushing 62-12 victoryagainst Gloucester at Allianz Park.

The visitors had got off to a perfect start when England Under-20s star Tom Seabrook scored less than a minute into his senior debut, with David Halaifonua also touching down.

Full Time | What a performance from @Saracens this afternoon! The men in black score 9 tries to dispatch Gloucester 62-12 at a sun bathed @AllianzParkpic.twitter.com/x3vsMeChPK

— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) May 5, 2018

But Saracens hit back with three first-half tries – including one for England fly-half Farrell – to lead 22-12 at the break and they went on to dominate the second period.

After Juan Figallo secured the try bonus point, Itoje stretched over the line before scrum-half Ben Spencer added a brace late on to conclude the scoring for Sarries.

Foden signs off in style

Ben Foden enjoyed a memorable final game in Northampton Saints colours as he scored one try and set up another in a 32-24 victory over Worcester Warriors to finish the season.

The full-back was sin-binned early on for an intentional knock-on but responded with a try and assist in the second half as Saints came from 14-0 down.

✅ Comeback win
@ben_foden try and MOM
@StephenMyler seals it

That’s how you do season finales!

— Northampton Saints 😇 (@SaintsRugby) May 5, 2018

They had trailed after two tries on league debut for England Under-20s centre Will Butler, while Ben Te’o got the other score for the Warriors.

But it was not enough in the end, with James Grayson pulling the strings for Saints, whose other tries came from Mitch Eadie, Nafi Tuitavake and Tom Collins.