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Wasps ready for 'titanic' Powergen Cup semi-final

05 December 2005

4 December 2005

LONDON WASPS rugby director Ian McGeechan is expecting another "titanic battle" with Leicester Tigers in the semi-finals of this season's Powergen Cup.

The sides were paired with each other in today's draw with Bath Rugby facing Llanelli Scarlets in the other half of the double header at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on March 4.

The Wasps v Leicester tie kicks off at 2.30pm and will broadcast live on the BBC. The Bath v Llanelli tie kicks off at 5.15pm and will be shown live on BBC Wales.

Wasps and Leicester met five times last season - twice in the Heineken Cup, twice in the Guinness Premiership and then in the Guinness Premiership Final when a 39-14 victory saw Wasps claim the title for the third season in a row.

McGeechan said: "It's great to have got to the semi-final and to have the opportunity to play at the Millennium Stadium and it will be a new experience for a lot of our players to play there.

"The draw has given us a big game against Leicester and after last season's titanic battles in the Heineken Cup, the scene is now set for the two clubs to meet again in the Powergen."

Wasps were unbeaten qualifiers at the top of Group B following yesterday's 42-8 win over Saracens, while Leicester recovered from losing their first Group D game to Newport-Gwent Dragons to go through with a 29-16 victory against Northampton Saints.

Leicester Tigers coach Pat Howard said: "Now we know we've got Wasps again I'm sure the players will be looking forward to the game even more.

"It'll be a big test, a great spectacle for our fans and a great day out at the Millennium Stadium."

Bath's clash with Llanelli is being billed as a battle of the Cup Kings of England and Wales by Simon Easterby.

The Scarlets beat Sale Sharks 24-23 to go into today's draw and their captain Easterby said: "It's fantastic that we're in the semi-final representing the Welsh regions.

"There are four quality teams and there was never going to be an easy draw but I'm pleased we've avoided Wasps - we'll have already played them twice in the Heineken Cup and we'd probably know each other too well.

"Bath are the Cup Kings of England - up against the Cup Kings of Wales - so that should make for a great game. Being back in the Millennium Stadium again is certainly something for us to look forward to."

Bath booked their place in the semi-final with a 21-12 victory over Gloucester at the Recreation Ground and prop David Barnes believes the chance to play the Scarlets as part of a double-header will generate a fantastic atmosphere in Cardiff.

Barnes said: "This gives us a great chance to go to the Millennium Stadium and experience what promises to be a special occasion. Llanelli have been playing well and it will be a big game for us, but it is something that we are looking forward to.

"The match is being played in the middle of the Six Nations and that means that interest will be on a high. The fixture will be extremely popular and I am sure that the Bath faithful will journey across the bridge en masse to support us."

"The Millennium Stadium is a terrific venue and having the two matches back to back is something that will add to the occasion."

Tickets for the semi-final double header at Cardiff on March 4 are available from the semi-finalists and from Ticketmaster on 08705 582582 or at www.ticketmaster.co.uk

Tickets cost �18 and �28 for adults and �9 or �14 for under-16s.

 

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