Anglo-Welsh Cup fixtures confirmed
August 2, 2011
Gloucester will hope to reclaim their Anglo-Welsh title in the 2011-12 season © Getty Images
The battle lines have been drawn for the 2011-12 Anglo-Welsh Cup with defending champions Gloucester opening their campaign against Sale at Kingsholm in the opening weekend of the competition.
Gloucester took the 2011 Anglo-Welsh Cup in dominant fashion defeating Newcastle at 34-7 at Franklin's Gardens. And - in a World Cup year - Cherry and Whites' coach Bryan Redpath has eyed the competition as a chance to blood their youngsters.
"The LV= Cup has been an integral part of our season in recent times," Redpath said. "We've made the final three years in a row and last season's win secured our place in Europe.
"We've seen many young players develop as a result of playing in the tournament and having that pathway available is the foundation of any successful club.
"Our first fixture against Sale Sharks certainly won't be an easy start to the tournament. Following our win at Franklin's Gardens, we are also now involved in the Heineken Cup and we will have to be on top form in terms of our fitness and attitude if we want to be successful in both competitions."
Elsewhere in the opening weekend, Premiership champions Saracens travel to Northampton to take on the Saints while Premiership newcomers will start at Sixways against London Wasps. The first all-Welsh tie is in Round 2 with Cardiff entertaining the Scarlets.
2011/12 Anglo-Welsh Cup
Round 1 - October 14/15/16
Round 2 - October 21/22/23
Round 3 - January 27/28/29
Round 4 - February 3/4/5
Semi-Finals (9/10/11 March, venue TBC)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside