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Fixture day is like the build-up to Christmas

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The start of the season is still nearly two months away, but the Premiership fixture list published this week at least allows us to start counting the days. (It is down to the mid-50s by the way)

We all have our personal favourites – it’s like filling in your own birthday as soon as you pin up a new calendar or starting the countdown to Christmas as a kid – and The Tig will not be alone in studying the list in the hours since it was published.
Away on day one, away in Round 22, Wasps up first home game, Saints at home in December, they’re the headliners at this early point.
Completing the two long northern journeys before winter really sets in is welcome. There will be those, too, who welcome missing a trip to The Rec, where Tigers have conceded 130 points in the last three visits, for a trip to Twickenham instead.
The other one that stands out at this point is Christmas away to Exeter Chiefs. The travelling Tigers fans will be doing as many miles as Santa Claus that weekend.
While the first eight rounds are already sorted from a TV standpoint, that Christmas fixture is still open to being moved to the Friday night at the request of the hosts or the broadcasters, though at least we know it can’t be on the Sunday this time! Let’s hope the previous weekend’s European game is the home half of the double-header to allow everyone to recover fully ahead of the festive trek to Devon.
So we now have the framework for the season ahead, with the Champions Cup and Anglo-Welsh Cup dates due soon to add some flesh to the bones.
And now we’re also two-and-a-half minutes closer to kick-off than we were you started reading this!