Leicester go for a Bath

Leicester will launch their defence of the EDF Energy Cup against old rivals Bath at the Recreation Ground in October. [more]

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Leicester will launch their defence of the EDF Energy Cup against old rivals Bath at the Recreation Ground in October.

The Tigers have been drawn in a tricky pool that also includes Cardiff and Sale with the competition dispensing with the rationalised groups that were in effect during its first two years.

A 41-35 victory over the Ospreys in the Twickenham final handed Martin Corry’s side the first leg of last season’s double, which also included the Guinness Premiership title.

Bath coach Steve Meehan said: "You have to think that whoever tops our pool will have a good chance of doing well in the competition overall."

With the World Cup finishing the previous weekend, the Anglo-Welsh Cup’s opening rounds could be short on big names – especially with clubs traditionally fielding weakened sides in the group stages.

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A raft of Ospreys players will come face to face with former Wales coach Mike Ruddock, now director of rugby at Worcester, when the Welsh region travel to Sixways for their opener.

Heineken Cup champions Wasps will resume their rivalry with Gloucester, who have recruited heavily this summer, with the Premiership heavyweights sharing Group A.

Leeds, promoted back to the top flight following a season in National One, have been drawn alongside Llanelli, Saracens and Bristol in Group D.

The Anglo-Welsh Cup, in its third year, is contested by all 12 Premiership clubs and the four Welsh Magners League regions with the four group winners moving straight to the semi-finals.

Group A: Newport Gwent Dragons, Wasps, Gloucester, Newcastle.

Group B: Cardiff, Bath, Sale, Leicester.

Group C: Ospreys, Harlequins, Worcester, London Irish.

Group D: Llanelli, Leeds, Saracens, Bristol.

Round One fixtures to be played on the weekend of October 26/27/28.

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