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A League all set for tonight's big kick-off

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Leicester Tigers Development XV will be hoping for a bumper Welford Road crowd when they take on Leeds Carnegie in the first match of the new Guinness A League this evening (kick-off 7pm).

Tigers will be looking to bounce back from last season's two-legged final defeat to London Wasps as they set about attempting to regain the crown they won in 2004/05 and 2005/06.

"The Guinness A League is a competition we value greatly," says Tigers' player development manager Carl Douglas. "It offers us a chance to give our most promising academy players the opportunity to experience senior rugby, as well as providing valuable game time to first-team squad members. We've had an impressive record at development-team level over recent years and we'd obviously like that to continue this season. Having won the tournament two years in a row, we reached the final in 2006/07, narrowly missing out on a hat-trick of titles. Hopefully, this year we can one better once again.

"This season will be slightly different in terms of the set-up of the Guinness A League. By this time last year, we had already played five matches in the Northern Conference and were preparing for another in the middle of this month. This time around, we play one fixture in October, four in November, three in December and our last two conference matches in January before, hopefully, moving on to the two-legged A League Final."

Tonight's squad is likely to include a number of the club's up and coming stars, such as Mitchell Culpin, Will Hurrell and Rickie Aley, all of whom were involved in pre-season fixtures or the Middlesex Sevens for the first-team. Alex Moreno, Tom Youngs, Ben Youngs, Ben Herring and Dave Young are also all set to feature having played Guinness Premiership or EDF Energy Cup rugby this season.

Season-ticket holders and members have been able to collect their vouchers for this evening's match at the last two home fixtures, while entry for other supporters is just £5 for adults and £1 for juniors. Tickets are available at the ticket office before kick-off this evening.