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Champions Cup preview: Warriors versus Tigers

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Leicester Tigers and Glasgow Warriors have the honour of kicking off a new season of European Champions Cup rugby at Scotstoun Stadium on Friday evening (7.45pm).

This is Tigers’ first trip north of the border since the 2009 European Cup Final and they will be playing in the city of Glasgow for the first time in the club’s history.
The game is a sell-out with a capacity crowd of 7,351 expected at Scotstoun.
Tigers go into the opening round of Europe with four wins in six rounds of Aviva Premiership action, while Warriors have an identical record in Guinness Pro12, a competition they won in 2014/15.
Team line-ups were announced by both clubs at noon on Thursday, with Tigers giving a debut to Australia centre Matt Toomua while Warriors coach Gregor Townsend includes 12 Scotland internationals in the Warriors’ starting line-up.
Tigers met Glasgow in three separate seasons during their early years in the competition and sealed a club record 90-19 victory in November 1997, when Richard Cockerill scored two of the team’s 14 tries. Click here to check out the names of the other try-scorers on that day.
Looking ahead to the club’s 20th European season, director of rugby Cockerill said: “The Champions Cup brings together the best of the best so every game is tough. It is a massive competition and a lot of the guys who come here from around the world come to Leicester because they want to play in the European Cup.
“We’ve not met Glasgow for a long time, it is a new experience going there. They’re a good side, I have a lot of respect for Gregor Townsend and how they play. It is a tough pool and every point will be important.”
An artificial pitch was installed at Scotstoun Stadium in the west of Glasgow this summer and Cockerill says Tigers players are getting used to the surface with three Premiership clubs now replacing their natural pitches. “We just want to go and play,” he said. “It’s a new surface and it is a very good one. It will be quick, both teams want to play.”
Glasgow Warriors head coach Townsend said: “The European Rugby Champions Cup is a brilliant tournament to be involved in and an opportunity for us to play the best teams in Europe.
“Leicester have been one of Europe’s leading sides for a number of years and we know they’ll provide a tough test. But there is a lot of excitement within our squad and we’re looking forward to opening our campaign at home in front of a sold-out Scotstoun.”
Referee on Friday is Mathieu Raynal from France.

This game is being covered live by BT Sport. There is also live commentary on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra and BBC Radio Leicester. Or keep in touch with the Tigers social media pages throughout the day.

Tigers return to home ground for the second match in Pool 1 next Sunday (October 23) when Racing 92 are the visitors. This fixture is included in season tickets. Match tickets for all other supporters are still available. Book in person at Welford Road, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or click here.