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Europe is a 'test against the best' says Cockerill

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Richard Cockerill says the Leicester Tigers squad will look forward to "testing ourselves against the best" in the first season of the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Drawn in Pool 3 alongside reigning European champions Toulon, Ulster Rugby and the Scarlets, Cockerill acknowledges Tigers are in a very competitive pool.
The fixture announcement from tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby this week presented Tigers with a home game against Ulster in Round 1 on October 18 and a trip to Parc Y Scarlets in Llanelli a week later. The back-to-back games against Toulon are in December, with Scarlets at home and Ulster away as the climax of the pool stages in the new year.
Tigers director of rugby Cockerill said: “We’re really looking forward to it, playing big fixtures against big teams, in great arenas, in a new tournament.
“There’s no doubting it’s a very competitive pool. There are six big games for us there. There are three massive home games for our supporters and they always travel in big numbers for our away games too.
“Ulster have a new coaching set-up and we already know how hard it is to go to Ravenhill and win in Europe, which is something we’ve not done. We had two big games against them last year in Europe and I’m sure both games will be very competitive again.
“Scarlets, too, have new coaches and some new players. We’ve played them in the cups in recent seasons and we know they are always tough opponents.
“And Toulon are the back-to-back champions of Europe. They’re French champions and they have a quality squad of players.
“We always look forward to testing ourselves against the best teams and clearly Toulon have proved themselves among the very best over the last couple of years. But it will be tough in every game in the pool stages and we'll have to work hard for every point.”
Tickets for home games in the pool stages of the European Rugby Champions Cup go on sale next week, to season ticket holders requiring extra tickets and to members from Monday and on general sale to all other supporters from Wednesday. Book online by clicking here, or call in at Welford Road or phone 0844 856 1880 (option 2).