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Cup defence begins at traditional rivals

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Leicester Tigers begin their defence of the EDF Energy Cup on Saturday, and what better way to launch that defence than with a trip to old rivals Bath Rugby?

Acting head coach Richard Cockerill, who enjoyed many tussles with the West Countrymen during his playing days in the Tigers front row, said: "Bath have traditionally been among our great rivals and they have had a good start to the season.

"They play with some pace and some width, they have a good pack and they have had good results at home and away this season, even with a few important players missing, so it should be a good contest."

Cockerill, who will announce his team on Friday lunchtime, added: "We won this competition last year and we do not want to give it away easily. The EDF Energy Cup is a high-profile competition with good teams and good players in it.

"We have come through the opening six weeks of the league season with four wins and now we are entering an important phase in the cup competitions."

Bath's only defeat of the season so far was on their Guinness Premiership trip to Welford Road, where a late Matt Smith try sealed a 26-16 verdict in Leicester's favour.

The trip to Bath this weekend is followed by a home clash with Cardiff Blues on Saturday, November 3 (kick-off 2.30pm). Tickets are available now from the Tigers ticket office, call 08701 28 34 30 or go to the tickets section of this website.

Tigers captain Martin Corry lifted the EDF silverware last season after a pulsating Twickenham encounter with the Ospreys. The group stages featured wins over Newport-Gwent Dragons and Worcester Warriors before a semi-final victory over Sale Sharks at the Millennium Stadium.