Formula One season gets underway this weekend with traditional curtain raiser

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

F1: qualifying and the 2018 season's opening Grand Prix will be broadcast from around 6am on Saturday and Sunday respectively, with replays available throughout the day.
F1: qualifying and the 2018 season's opening Grand Prix will be broadcast from around 6am on Saturday and Sunday respectively, with replays available throughout the day.
Lewis Hamilton begins the 2018 campaign looking to win his fifth World Championship and close the gap on seven time winner – and the record holder for most world titles - Michael Schumacher, while Six Nations stars return to club rugby in a host of Aviva Premiership fixtures.

Dillian Whyte v Lucas Browne - heavyweight boxing – Saturday 24 March – Sky Sports Action from 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 7.30pm

Dillian Whyte will look to secure a world heavyweight title shot with victory over Australia’s unbeaten Lucas Browne on Saturday night.

Twenty-nine-year-old Whyte has made himself a contender of note since a knockout defeat to current heavyweight king Anthony Joshua, winning six straight bouts including a points victory over former world title challenger Dereck Chisora.

The pair have traded plenty of insults in the build up to Saturday’s bout which offers former doorman Browne a chance to get his career back on track.

The Australian, who turned professional just shy of his 30th​ birthday in 2009, last fought in June 2017 before serving suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, is a former world champion himself.

Australian Grand Prix race weekend – Qualifying Saturday 24 March Sky Sports F1 5.55am – Race Sunday 25 March Sky Sports F1 6.05am

Lewis Hamilton begins the defence of his Formula One world championship in Melbourne – the site of the F1 season’s traditional curtain raiser - as a heavy favourite to become five time world champion and creep closer to Michael Schumacher's record seven titles. 

The Briton fended off the challenge of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel last year, but faces increasing pressure from the likes of Red Bull's 20-year-old Belgian Max Verstappen this time around as Mercedes, and their main man, look to extend a recent spell of dominance in Formula One. 

While qualifying and race coverage will be shown on Sky Sports' dedicated channel at the times shown above on Saturday and Sunday mornings respectively, replays will be available throughout the day.

Saracens v Harlequins – Aviva Premiership ​ Saturday 24 March – BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4KUHD from 2.30pm (kick off at 3pm)

A historic London derby gets a new backdrop as Saracens host Harlequins at the London Stadium.

The two sides welcome back a host of international stars from Six Nations campaigns – including England’s Mauro Itoje – with Saracens hoping to avenge a one-point defeat to ninth placed Quins earlier in the season and secure a play-off place in the process.

While a win for Saracens would help them pile pressure on top two Exeter and Wasps, Quins must win if they’re to keep their European Rugby Champions Cup qualification hopes alive.

England U21 v Romania U21 – Football, International friendly – Saturday 24 March – BT Sport 2 from 5.00pm (Kick off at 5.15pm)

England have been making waves on the international scene in younger age brackets – with their under 17 and under 20 sides both winning their respective World Cups.

The under 21 fixture on Saturday night offers publicans the chance to fill the gap between the full international side’s friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy over the coming days, and offers a glimpse of young lions currently making waves in the top two tiers of English football such as Leicester’s Demari Gray, Swansea’s Tammy Abraham, and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.

As tribute to the late former England international Cyril Regis, Aidy Boothroyd’s England under 21 side will take on Romania at the home of Regis’ former club Wolverhampton Wanderers, Molineux.

The match will also serve as a warm up for the U21s next European Championship qualifier against Ukraine on Tuesday.

 

Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints – Aviva Premiership ​– Saturday 24 March ​ BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4KUHD from 5.15pm (kick off at 5.30pm)

Newcastle Falcons will look to top their all-time attendance as they take on Northampton Saints at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park in a game being dubbed ‘The big one’.

A win for Newcastle would see them close the gap on the two sides above them in the Aviva Premiership table – second placed Wasps and Third placed Saracens – while a win for Northampton would help them close the gap on ninth placed Harlequins.

The game at St James’ Park is the first of three Falcons’ matches to be staged at the home of Newcastle United before 2020.

Leicester Tigers v Wasps – Aviva Premiership ​– ​Sunday 25 March - BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4KUHD from 2.30pm (Kick off at 3pm)

Wasps currently sit seven points adrift of league leaders Exeter Chiefs, and will be hoping to tighten their grip on second spot with a win over Leicester Tigers – who they’ve beaten in each of their last five encounters.

The Tigers currently occupy fifth spot in the Aviva Premiership table, three points adrift of Newcastle Falcons.

 

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