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.
"If England flounder in the next World Cup the knives will be out - six-year contract or not." Tom Hamilton on the new contract for the England coaches
With the deadline for World Cup ticket applications now over, Tom May outlines his hopes, gripes and wishes for next year's global gathering
Floundering Leicester, exquisite Exeter and two old England players tearing up trees - it's the Monday Maul
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship and all the domestic action from the northern hemisphere