Tigers kick off defence at Franklin's Gardens
June 29, 2010
Leicester begin their title defence at Northampton © Getty Images
Reigning Guinness Premiership champions Leicester will kick off the defence of their title with a massive local derby against Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.
The Tigers, who defeated Saracens 33-27 in last season's final, lost out in the corresponding fixture last season and will be hoping for a flying start on the weekend of September 3/4/5.
Sarries will kick-off their campaign in the now traditional London Double Header on September 4, with London Irish again providing the opposition at Twickenham. In the day's other game, Wasps take on Harlequins.
Premiership newcomers Exeter Chiefs welcome Gloucester to Sandy Park first-up while Leeds, who cemented their place in the Premiership last season by condemning Worcester to the drop, begin their latest challenge against Bath at Headingley. The round's other game sees Sale, now under the stewardship of Mike Brewer, take on Alan Tait's Newcastle.
After the success of last season's Christmas period, when a record attendance of 152,940 was recorded for a single round, each side is guaranteed a home fixture either on Boxing Day or New Year's Day. Fans of the London clubs will again have derbies to cheer about, with Harlequins and Saracens at home to London Irish and Wasps respectively, while Exeter welcome the champions on New Year's Day.
Under a new agreement, ESPN and Sky Sports will show three matches per round between them, meaning 69 live matches including the semi-final and final will be shown live this season, with ESPN set to confirm their coverage once the clubs' have selected their preferred days and kick-off times.
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