The Gallagher Premiership is the highest quality of English rugby and there have been some brilliant teams in the history of the competition.
Who has won the most Gallagher Premierships? Leicester Tigers have won the most Gallagher Premiership titles, winning eleven in total, which is five more than Bath and Wasps in second.
Leicester Tigers are by far the most successful team in the history of Premiership Rugby. They have won a total of eleven titles in the history of the Premiership which is by far the most.
Who won the first season of the English Premiership?
Leicester Tigers were actually the team who won the first season of the English Premiership in the 1987-88 season. Leicester won the league on 36 points as there weren’t any playoffs at that time. They finished just one point ahead of second placed Wasps who had played one more game than them.
It was a very unique league at that time as there was no fixture list. Teams just organised fixtures between themselves which is why Leicester did not play Gloucester that season. They still managed to win the title despite only playing 10 games which was one less than 2nd, 3rd and 4th played across the season.
At the time that Leicester won the title, it was known as the Courage League as it was sponsored by Courage Brewery. But Leicester would then go from winning the title to not being in the top two for the next five seasons.
Who won the 1994-95 Premiership Rugby Title
Leicester Tigers won their second Premiership title in 1995 after finishing top of the Courage League table. The Tigers finished the season on 31 points having won 15 of their 18 games on the season, with losses to Bristol and Gloucester as well as a 20-20 draw with Bath in Bath.
This was Leicester’s second title and the first for players like Martin Johnson, Neil Back, Graham Rowntree and Richard Cockerill. These four would be key in the Tigers future dominance.
When did Leicester Tigers dominate the Premiership?
Leicester Tigers are the most successful team in the history of the English Premiership mainly down to their incredible dominance from 1999 to 2013. This dominance began in the 1998-99 season. Leicester were comfortably the best side in the league and won the title with 44 points, six ahead of Northampton Saints.
Leicester followed that title success up with an even better season, finishing on 51 points from 22 games with only three losses on the season. It was during this season that Leicester went on the longest winning streak in Premiership history, winning 17 straight games from December 1999 to September 2000.
With the introduction of the playoffs, Leicester had to worry about how that might affect their title hopes. But by conceding only 25 tries in 22 games, Leicester comfortably won the title as they finished eight points ahead of London Wasps.
In another season decided by the league, Leicester once again did not let any other team think they had a chance of winning the title. They finished 14 points ahead of Sale in second. This meant four titles in a row for Leicester, a truly dominant era in the Premiership.
This Leicester team was stacked with talent, a lot of whom would go on to win the world cup with England in 2003. Tigers captain Martin Johnson was also the England and Lions captain at that time. The England team was reliant at the time on Leicester players like Johnson, Ben Kay and Neil Back.
Are Leicester Tigers the best Premiership Rugby team of all time
In English Premiership rugby, there have been a few dominant dynasties and one of the very best is the Leicester Tigers team of the 2000s and early 2010s. The Tigers reached nine straight English Premiership finals, winning four of them. No team has ever got close to that sort of record.
It began in the 2004-05 season when Leicester finished top of the table on 78 points and so progressed straight to the final. But in the final, they were heavily defeated by the talented London Wasps team which featured world cup winners like Matt Dawson, Josh Lewsey and Lawrence Dallaglio.
The following year was another heavy defeat in the final as Sale Sharks won the title in a 45-20 win against Leicester. But it was still the start of Leicester’s incredible run, powered by new, young players like Tom Varndell, Alesana Tuilagi and Andy Goode.
Goode and Tuilagi were two of the try scorers the next season as Leicester dominated Gloucester in a 16-44 win, with Tuilagi adding two tries. But it was a defeat to Wasps in the following season despite the additions of Benjamin Kayser and Marcos Ayerza.
Leicester claimed one of the tightest Premiership victories the next season thanks mainly to a 61st minute score from Jordan Crane despite no Andy Good in the team. It was Dan Hipkiss who was the hero the following season, with a 76th minute try proving to be the winner against Saracens.
After two straight losses in the final including Saracens getting their revenge the following season, Leicester defeated midlands rivals Northampton Saints in the final in 2013, with Dylan Hartley stealing the show as the first player to be red carded in a Premiership Rugby final.
This would be the last title for this era of Leicester Tigers. The team that went to nine straight finals changed a lot over the years, but this Tigers team is still looked at as one of the best Premiership teams of all time.
It included Martin Castrogiovanni and Tom Youngs who were both awarded Premiership Player of the Season. Tom Varndell, Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi all won Discovery of the Season in those title winning years as well, with Youngs going on to become a Leicester Tigers and England legend.
This Leicester team is likely the best of all time in terms of the Premiership. We are unlikely to see any other team go to nine straight finals like that Tigers team did.