Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles
Rugby News

Big-match preview: Tigers at Wasps

Wasps and Tigers make it a century of meetings this weekend
Wasps and Tigers make it a century of meetings this weekend

Leicester Tigers and Wasps reach a rivalry milestone with the 100th meeting of the clubs this Saturday.

Just three league points separate fourth-placed Tigers and sixth-placed Wasps as they prepare to meet in Coventry where Tigers have not won since their first visit in May 2015.

In 99 previous meetings, Tigers have 59 wins to 35 by Wasps who have triumphed in the last four encounters including a dramatic 21-20 victory in the semi-final last season.

While Tigers lost at home to Worcester Warriors last weekend, Wasps came from behind to win 17-13 at London Irish with three second-half tries.

Both teams welcome back a number of senior internationals this week after the climax to the autumn Tests last weekend, though Wasps are without England forwards Joe Launchbury and Nathan Hughes, and Tigers also include Logovi’i Mulipola in the matchday squad after injury.

Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “We were a bit disappointed with the performance against Warriors last week. We started poorly, we were a bit porous defensively and gave them a lot of opportunities. But we have a good understanding of where we need to be better.

“We couldn’t have been be more pleased with the effort in the semi-final at Wasps last season, but lost at the death. We’ve made a lot of progress in fits and starts this year and we’re still working hard for that complete performance. It will be another test on Saturday and will answer a few more questions.”

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said: "Wasps and Leicester games always have a great feel to them. There’s been a huge rivalry between the sides down the years that’s only intensified since we’ve been living next door to each other.

"It’s a massive game for both clubs in terms of the table and it’s a big occasion, so I’m sure everyone will be looking forward to the contest.

"It’s guaranteed to be a physical encounter and, as always, the set-piece will be a huge battle. We will need to match Tigers’ physicality there and at the contact area. While it was good to come away with the win last Sunday, we know we need to lift our level of performance significantly on Saturday.

"These are the types of games players love to play in and everyone is looking forward to such a big contest in front of what’s set to be our biggest crowd of the season so far."

Referee for Saturday is Thomas Foley.

Tigers will be in the club’s white alternate kit this weekend.

Saturday’s match is scheduled for live broadcast by BT Sport. Or you can keep in touch with all of the action using the Matchday Live service on the Tigers App. The club’s official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages will also carry updates throughout the day.

Match tickets are still available from the host club who are expecting an attendance of more than 23,000.