Battle lines drawn for new Premiership season
July 4, 2013
Leicester will begin the defence of their Premiership crown at home to Worcester Warriors © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers will begin the defence of their Aviva Premiership crown against Worcester Warriors at Welford Road.
The Tigers, who claimed their historic tenth Premiership title in May with a thrilling victory over Northampton, play host to the Warriors on Sunday, September 8 with the Saints set to welcome Exeter Chiefs to Franklin's Gardens the day before.
The season gets underway on Friday, September 6 with promoted side Newcastle Falcons taking on taking on Bath at Kingston Park. Elsewhere on the opening weekend, the traditional London Double Header at Twickenham sees London Irish play Saracens followed by London Wasps against Harlequins. The other fixture sees Sale Sharks make the trip to Kingsholm to face Gloucester.
This season there will be two further matches staged at Twickenham - in addition to the London Double Header and the Final - and one at Wembley. Harlequins face Exeter Chiefs on December 28 and London Wasps entertain Gloucester Rugby on April 19 at Twickenham, while Saracens will play their match with Harlequins on March 22 at Wembley. In the 2011-12 season the Saracens v Harlequins match at Wembley attracted a world record crowd for a club rugby match of 83,761 supporters.
"Every year the anticipation over the new fixtures grows and looking at the 2013-14 season it is clear we have huge matches every weekend," said Phil Winstanley the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby.
"Matches in Aviva Premiership Rugby get more compelling and competitive every year and last season we once again had a smaller average winning margin (a slim 11 points) in our games than in any other League in the world. We've had three different Aviva Premiership champions in the last three years and last May we had a new club (Northampton Saints) in the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final."
Friday, September 6
Saturday, September 7
Sunday, September 8
Friday, September 13
Saturday, September 14
Sunday, September 15
Friday, September 20
Saturday, September 21
Sunday, September 22,
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape
Move over, Castro - from falling off a chair to stepping off the team bus, Scrum Sevens recounts some of the strangest rugby injuries ever
Martin Gillingham on the latest from France and why the national side can learn a thing or two from Top 14 side Bordeaux Begles