Saturday 10 December 2016

Unique starting point for opponents

John Fallon

Published 04/09/2015 | 02:30

Leicester Tigers have organised a competition with Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons to give them game-time during the World Cup
Leicester Tigers have organised a competition with Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons to give them game-time during the World Cup

It is rare that teams get a glance at one of their European opponents on the opening day of the league but tomorrow's clash with Treviso will be the first of at least four with the Italians this season.

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Indeed, Munster will open their Champions Cup campaign with a home tie against Treviso but unlike tomorrow night's clash at Irish Independent Park in Cork, the venue on November 14 will be Thomond Park.

The World Cup has ensured a disjointed start to the season for the four Pool 4 opponents. Stade Francais will play their third game in the French Top 14 this weekend when they host European champions Toulon in Paris on Sunday night in a game which will kick-off at 9pm.

There will be a bit of an edge to this repeat of last year's Top 14 semi-final when Stade Francais stunned Toulon 33-16.

Toulon, with 18 players missing, have made a miserable start to the season, losing at home to Ronan O'Gara's Racing 92 and then last weekend going down 24-9 away to Castres.

Stade Francais, opening weekend winners over Pau, will hope for their second home victory after going down 22-13 away to Brive at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Leicester Tigers have organised a competition with Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons to give them game-time during the World Cup.

The three will meet, home and away, in the 'Kings of the North' tournament before Tigers finally start their Premiership season against Harlequins on October 25.

But first up for Leicester is a home friendly tomorrow against Argentina as the Pumas crank up their World Cup preparations after arriving in the UK.

Irish Independent

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