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Champions Face Wasps In Premiership Opener
Tough test for reigning champions
Posted Jul 08, 2011 by Chris White
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Last season’s champions Saracens will play six-time winners Wasps in the first game of the defence of their title, and the other Premiership clubs now know their schedule for the long road to Twickenham next May. The 2011/12 season fixtures were released last week and they have served up some cracking games for the first weekend.
The London-derby at Vicarage Road on 3rd September is one of the biggest clashes of the opening weekend, while there is another all-London affair, as London Irish take on Harlequins. Beaten finalists Leicester will welcome Exeter to Welford Road while newly promoted Worcester Warriors and Sale Sharks get the new season underway with the first game on the Friday night.
Newcastle Falcons get their campaign underway at home to Bath – who played each other in their final two fixtures of last season, and beaten Heineken Cup finalists Northampton will take on Gloucester in the final fixture of the opening weekend, which is possibly the pick of the opening round.
Although the top players from the Premiership will be away on World Cup duty and will consequently miss the opening few rounds, (up to 6 if they reach the final), there is guaranteed to be plenty of excitement for fans with young talent on show as teams seek to make a good start to the season that they can build upon when the stars return from the southern hemisphere.
The final round of fixtures have also thrown up some fantastic ties, with Leicester finishing their campaign to win back their title at home to Bath, champions Saracens finish at home to Worcester, London Irish take on Gloucester, Newcastle travel to Wasps and Sale take on Harlequins.