Steve Borthwick says the Leicester Tigers squad are excited ahead of Saturday afternoon's Gallagher Premiership fixture against Northampton Saints.
Leicester first met Northampton in 1880, in just the third game for Leicester Football Club less than three months after being formed in August of the same year.
Since the first encounter, which ended in a 0-0 draw, the East Midlands rivals have faced off on 245 occasions in all competitions with Leicester recording wins on 137 occasions to Northampton's 89 and 19 draws - including that first meeting.
“We are very fortunate to be a part of a sport with traditional rivalries like this one," said Borthwick.
"It’s exciting to be involved in a game with such a rich history behind it."
The most recent scheduled meeting between the two clubs was called off, earlier in the 2020/21 season, due to positive test results for COVID-19 and so, for the first time in as long as many supporters from both sides can remember, only one 'derby day' will take place during the current campaign.
While excitement is the emotion many are feeling ahead of the clash, the Tigers head coach does admit to being disappointed that the squad cannot share the special day with supporters once again.
“We are disappointed our supporters won’t be here with us," added Borthwick.
"We would love to have them in the stands on Saturday and cannot wait to welcome them back to Mattioli Woods Welford Road soon.”
This week, the club confirmed details of plans for a match ticket ballot for the return of supporters to Mattioli Woods Welford Road.
Current government guidelines indicate that Tigers will be able to welcome a reduced crowd for the final home game of the regular season, against Bristol Bears on Saturday, June 5 (3.00pm), in line with the proposed easing of Covid restrictions.
An email has now been sent to all 2020/21 season ticket holders containing step-by-step instructions on how to join the ballot and how to apply as a group of up to six family or friends (who must all be season ticket holders). Tickets will all be sold at a flat rate of £15 with the option to add a donation towards the club’s continued work in the community.
Find out more HERE.