- LV= Cup fixtures released
- Chiefs head to Rodney Parade on opening weekend
Photo: Getty Images
Reigning LV= Cup champions Exeter Chiefs will kick-off their title defence in the 2014/15 LV= Cup at Rodney Parade, home of Newport Gwent-Dragons.
The Chiefs lifted the LV= Cup trophy in front of a sell-out home crowd in March after Sandy Park was named as the final venue in October 2013. Victory was secured with a 15-8 win over Aviva Premiership champions Northampton Saints, concluding a fantastic LV= rugby weekend in Exeter, which included a festival in the city centre attended by more than 2,000 people.
In Pool 2, the Saints will open their 2014/15 LV= Cup campaign against Newcastle Falcons at Franklin's Gardens as they look to go one better following last year's final defeat. In the same pool, Cardiff Blues will host Scarlets in a Welsh derby fixture.
Bath Rugby, who were knocked out of the competition in the semi-final stage, will host newly-promoted London Welsh at The Rec in the opening round. The teams last met in 2012/13, with each claiming victory in their respective home league fixtures.
In one of five Premiership head-to-heads during the opening weekend, Saracens will welcome London rivals and 2013 LV= Cup winners Harlequins to Allianz Park. London Irish will host Leicester Tigers, completing Round 1 of the competition which is credited for helping develop the next generation of international stars including LV= Breakthrough Player Award winners Jack Nowell, Jonny May and Ollie Devoto.
Commenting on the fixture announcement, Claire Jeromson, LV= Head of Sponsorship, said:
"This will be our sixth year as sponsors of the LV= Cup, and the competition has gone from strength to strength. Last year we saw some great rugby from some exciting new talent, and a memorable final in Exeter. With the 2015 Rugby World Cup getting ever closer it's a great time for the young players to push through in the competition and make their mark this season."
Newport Gwent Dragons
2014/15 LV= Cup fixtures
Round one – October 31, November 1/2
Bath Rugby v London Welsh
Gloucester Rugby v Ospreys
Newport Gwent Dragons v Exeter Chiefs
Saracens v Harlequins - Sunday November 2, kick-off 1pm, live on Sky Sports
Cardiff Blues v Scarlets
London Irish v Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons
Sale Sharks v Wasps
Round two – November 7/8/9
Exeter Chiefs v Bath Rugby
Harlequins v Newport Gwent Dragons
London Welsh v Gloucester Rugby
Ospreys v Saracens
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks - Sunday, November 9, kick-off 3:15pm, live on Sky Sports
Newcastle Falcons v Cardiff Blues
Scarlets v Northampton Saints
Wasps v London Irish
Round three – January 30/31, February 1
Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby
Harlequins v Bath Rugby
London Welsh v Saracens
Ospreys v Newport Gwent Dragons
Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks
Scarlets v London Irish
Wasps v Cardiff Blues
Round four – February 6/7/8
Bath Rugby v Ospreys
Gloucester Rugby v Harlequins
Newport Gwent Dragons v London Welsh
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs
Cardiff Blues v Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints v Wasps
London Irish v Newcastle Falcons
Sale Sharks v Scarlets
Semi-finals – March 13/14/15
LV= Cup final - 22 March (venue to be confirmed).
- English clubs have been allocated to the 4 Pools based on their finishing positions from the preceding season's Premiership competition.
- The Welsh Regions have been allocated based on their standing in the Guinness Pro 12 and to avoid repeating fixtures resulting from the EPCR draws.
- Teams in Pool 1 play teams in Pool 4; teams in Pool 2 play teams in Pool 3
- The pool winner with the best playing record will be at home against the pool winner with the fourth best playing record in Semi Final 1.
- The Pool Winner with the second best playing record will be at home against the pool winner with the third best playing record in Semi Final 2.