- Current title holders begin season campaign against Saracens
- Premiership newcomers London Welsh face fellow RFU Championship graduates Exeter Chiefs
Photo: Getty Images
Saracens will kick off the 2012-13 LV= Cup season against current title holders Leicester Tigers in the opening round of the new season's campaign.
Tigers lifted the 2011-12 LV= Cup – which now enters its fourth season – following a convincing win over 2009 winners Northampton Saints at Sixways Stadium. Tries from Steve Mafi and Scott Hamilton secured the title for the Leicester men, while an impressive kicking display from youngster George Ford helped put 12 points on the Saints.
The Tigers will take on 2011 Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens in the opening round of the forthcoming LV= season, with a potential showcase of English fly half talent on offer in Ford, England's most capped EPS member Toby Flood, Owen Farrell and recent retired Charlie Hodgson.
Elsewhere, Aviva Premiership Rugby newcomers London Welsh will face fellow RFU Championship graduates Exeter Chiefs, ready for their debut in the competition, which is credited for playing a crucial role in the development of elite players.
Across the border, Ospreys will go head-to-head against 2010-11 winners Gloucester Rugby while Newport Gwent Dragons travel down the M4 to Bath for their opening fixture against last year’s semi-finalists.
Another exciting competition expected
Title sponsors LV= continue their support of the competition which last year saw 10,000 supporters turn out for the final at Sixways, as well as the introduction of the LV= Breakthrough Player award, presented to Gloucester Rugby's Jonny May, who has been named in England's Saxons Elite Player Squad.
Commenting on the new season fixtures, LV= Head of Sponsorship, Claire Jeromson, said: “After the success of last year’s tournament, which culminated in a thrilling final, we are looking forward to another exciting competition, as the LV= Cup goes into its fourth year.
"The young talent being showcased by the clubs is very strong, as displayed by current champions Leicester Tigers, and this season looks set to be no different with some early big name clashes setting the tone for the rest of the season.”
LV= Cup Pools and Fixtures
Photo: Getty Images
Newport Gwent Dragons
Round 1: November 9-11
Northampton Saints v Harlequins
London Welsh v Exeter Chiefs (Sunday November 11, KO 1600. S4C)
Bath Rugby v Newport Gwent Dragons
Ospreys v Gloucester Rugby (Friday November 9, KO 1945. Sky Sports HD)
London Irish v Sale Sharks
Cardiff Blues v London Wasps
Worcester Warriors v Scarlets
Saracens v Leicester Tigers
Round 2: November 16-18
Harlequins v Bath Rugby
Exeter v Ospreys
Newport Gwent Dragons v Northampton Saints
Gloucester Rugby v London Welsh
Sale Sharks v Saracens
Leicester Tigers v London Irish
Scarlets v Cardiff Blues (Saturday November 17, KO 1830. S4C)
London Wasps v Worcester Warriors
Round 3: January 25-27
Harlequins v London Welsh
Bath Rugby v Exeter Chiefs
Newport Gwent Dragons v Ospreys
Northampton Saints v Gloucester Rugby
Sale Sharks v Scarlets
Leicester Tigers v London Wasps
Saracens v Cardiff Blues
London Irish v Worcester Warriors
Round 4: February 1-3
London Welsh v Newport Gwent Dragons
Gloucester Rugby v Bath Rugby
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints
Ospreys v Harlequins
London Wasps v Sale Sharks
Scarlets v Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors v Saracens
Cardiff Blues v London Irish
Semi Finals –March 8/9/10
Final - March 17 (venue tbc)