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Cup preview: Bath versus Tigers

Tigers and Bath also met at The Rec in last year's competition
Tigers and Bath also met at The Rec in last year's competition

Leicester Tigers travel to Bath on Friday evening with both sides boasting a winning start to the Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign.

Cup holders Tigers won 26-24 against Gloucester at Welford Road in the opening game of the pool stages last weekend while Bath won 26-22 at London Irish.

Friday’s meeting will be an eighth encounter between the teams in Anglo-Welsh competition, with Tigers leading 4-3, including three wins in four previous visits to The Recreation Ground in the tournament.

This will be a 98th visit to The Rec where Leicester’s record is won 37, drawn 10, lost 50. Overall, the clubs have met on 193 occasions with Tigers winning 134 to 67 by Bath.

Former Tigers fly-half Freddie Burns started in Bath’s win at Irish and keeps the No10 jersey this week, while Levi Davis, a Leicester academy player during his time at Denstone College, retains his place after a try-scoring appearance last weekend. Michael van Vuuren and back-rower Paul Grant, who had short spells at Tigers, also start for the hosts who include senior players Matt Banahan, Tom Homer and skipper Matt Garvey in his 100th appearance for the club.

Tigers coach Geordan Murphy retains the bulk of the matchday squad from last week, though there are senior debuts for development squad trio Jordan Olowofela, Tom Hardwick and Tommy Reffell. Chris Baumann is handed a first start at prop.

Reflecting on the win over Gloucester before turning his attention to old rivals Bath, coach Murphy said: “It will be tough at Bath, they’ve got a good side out and The Rec is a tough place to go, but the guys are all keen to go down there and put in a good performance for themselves and the club.

“We did plenty of good things last week, but we let ourselves at times with a lot of errors. It was great to get the win against a good Gloucester side, though we turned over ball nine or 10 times with handling errors. We were probably guilty of trying to force it on occasions.”

Referee for this evening is Greg Macdonald.

Tigers will be in the club’s all white alternate kit at The Rec.

Tigers return to home turf next Sunday (November 19, 3.00pm) for the first of back-to-back Aviva Premiership fixtures at Welford Road when Sale Sharks are the visitors. The second part of the home double is against Worcester Warriors on Saturday, November 25 (also 3.00pm).

Tickets for both games are on general sale now. Book in person at the club store in Highcross Shopping Centre in advance or at Welford Road on matchday, or phone the ticket office on 0116 319 8888 (option 2). Or use the link below to book online.