Anglo-Welsh Cup battle lines drawn
July 23, 2012
Leicester will hope to replicate their 2011-2012 Anglo-Welsh Cup success © Getty Images
The draw for the 2012-13 Anglo-Welsh Cup has taken place with holders Leicester opening their campaign against fellow Aviva Premiership side Saracens.
The slightly convoluted system sees those in Pool 1 play the teams in Pool 4 while Pool 2 teams will face Pool 3. So if Leicester are to replicate their success last season, they will have to get past Saracens, London Wasps, London Irish and the Scarlets.
Other notable match-ups see Bath facing rivals Gloucester and London Welsh opening their campaign with a tough match against the Exeter Chiefs at the Kassam Stadium. For the Exiles, the draw means that their second-row Adam Brown could line up against his former side the Dragons, something he is relishing. "That's the fixture that stands out for me," said Brown. "It's a game I'm looking forward to as I've still got a lot of close friends playing there.
"All the teams we're playing this year are going to challenge us a team. It's going to be a step up intensity and ability. But you want to play at the highest level you can and challenge yourself. Everyone in the squad is excited but we know we've got a lot of work to do if we're going to prove we can play at this level, but there's definitely a buzz around the place."
Pool 1: Harlequins, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, Newport Gwent Dragons
Pool 2: Leicester Tigers, Sale Sharks, Worcester Warriors, Cardiff Blues
Pool 3: Saracens, London Irish, London Wasps, Scarlets
Pool 4: Northampton Saints, Bath Rugby, London Welsh, Ospreys
Round 1 -November 9-11:
Round 2 -November 16-18:
Round 3 - January 25-27:
Round 4 -February 1-3:
Semi Finals -March 8/9/10
Final - March 17 (venue tbc)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action
The latest Week in Pictures takes in some original ways of welcoming teams to the field and plenty of tries from the European Champions Cup