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Big match preview: Tigers v Saints

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Fourth and fifth in the Aviva Premiership table, Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints meet in front of a sell-out record crowd at Welford Road on Saturday (3.15pm).

Just four points separate the East Midlands rivals going into the Round 9 match in the Aviva Premiership season in a game which always excites coaches, players and supporters alike.
“It’s always a big occasion, Tigers against Saints,” said director of rugby Richard Cockerill who first experienced derby day in November 1992 during his first season as a hooker at the club.
“The rivalry is as big as ever. Supporters like that on both sides, the players understand that, including the ones who will be playing in this game for the first time. This game means a huge amount to both teams. That kind of rivalry is great, it’s what British sport is all about.”
Saints recorded a fourth win of the league season in beating Exeter Chiefs at Franklin’s Gardens, while Tigers lost for only the second time, away to Saracens.
“That performance was not good enough, there is no hiding from that,” added Cockerill. “But if you take it in the context of the bigger picture, we’ve started the season pretty well and we’re in a decent place. You keep your resilience, you keep working hard and you aim to come back again.
“We know Saints are a good side, they’re well drilled, they have a very good set-piece and they finished top of the table last season. It’s a big afternoon for both sides.”
The two teams have met on 233 previous occasions, Tigers winning 130 to 83 by Saints with 20 games drawn.
With the new Caterpillar Stand open to its full capacity for the first time, Saturday’s game will be watched by a record league crowd for Welford Road of 25,849.
Kick-off is at 3.15pm. If you don’t have a ticket, you can keep up to date via the Tigers website and social media pages. This match is also shown live on BT Sport 1 with coverage from 2.30pm and is available free for all viewers on BT Sport Showcase at the same time. BT Sport's Showcase channel is available on Freeview on channel 59. UK viewers can also watch the game online at www.btsport.com, Sky and Virgin Media.
Click here for our full matchday guide.