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Are we nearly there yet?

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The days are longer in the summer months, which only increases the frustration of having no Leicester Tigers action.

We’re told there are now about six weeks till the Ulster match on August 31 at Welford Road, which must mean The Tig’s clock has stopped.

The Aviva Premiership Final win at Twickenham came at the end of May in the climax to a long and gruelling season. After the celebrations we all needed a break.

But is it really only the middle of July still?

Perhaps the glorious sunshine is providing an illusion of greater distance from the winter months and those chilly days on the Tigers terrace.

No one wants to wish away a few precious weeks in the sunshine, but the start of the new season cannot come fast enough.

Now that the league fixtures are out too, we’ve started picking out favourites and crossing out days.

For The Tig, it’s great to see a home game on the opening weekend, especially as Tigers also have a pre-season fixture against Ulster the previous Saturday. This means two successive opportunities to welcome the team back to Welford Road and get a glimpse of some of the new guys.

Worcester are the opening opposition in the Aviva Premiership – the kind of team that no matter where they are in the table they always present a formidable obstacle. With Dean Ryan at the helm, they can only get tougher.

We start with a great run for the fans, including two very pleasant trips – to Bath in Round 2 in the sunshine and the long haul to Exeter before the end of September.

But, with respect to both clubs, home is where the heart is and The Tig is licking lips at the prospect of Worcester on opening day, Deano’s Newcastle and then Saints in the opening three games on Tigers territory.

Deano and Wellsy will obviously get a great reception but then it’ll be down to the business of getting points on the board.

Saints, at Welford Road for the first time since THAT Final, needs no sales pitch does it? A sell-out every year, this one just gets bigger and bigger. For both teams and both sets of supporters this is a massive game just a month into the new season. And one week before the start of the Heineken Cup campaign.

Come through a European fortnight and it’s Wasps away and Quins at home. Is it just me, or does it just get more exciting every year? Or is that more intense?

Two home games around Christmas should mean two more full houses at Welford Road. And how about Saracens at home on the last day of the season?

There are some hugely anticipated games there, even before we add in Ulster, Montpellier and Treviso. Is it August yet?