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Fixtures Fairy fails to play Christmas party games

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Whoever drew up the Aviva Premiership festive fixtures was not exactly full of Christmas cheer when sending Leicester to Exeter.

The choice of opponents was more likely to have been made full of Christmas spirits than good cheer, denying the Chiefs a local rival like Bath, Bristol or Gloucester, and sending the Tigers supporters into unarmed combat with motorway traffic on Christmas Eve.
Away fans are a long-suffering bunch who often take a masochistic enjoyment telling tales of roadworks, train delays, bumpy landings and obscure hotels in their dedication to following their team on the road. And a 400-mile round trip on the day before Christmas trip had the potential to provide plenty of material to share in coming weeks.
Thankfully, despite public warnings from the highways agencies and local councils, motorways were well behaved and The Tig made it home in good time to put the carrot and mince pies out for Santa and his staff.
Nothing against the Chiefs, a hospitable and well-run club with a nice line in giant pasties, but you would like to think that the Fixtures Fairy could have done better.
We’d have happily taken Worcester or Gloucester or even Bristol and still have been able to keep Saints and Wasps for another time. Or Saracens away would have been just a couple of hours down the road. But Exeter? The southern-most outpost of Premiership Rugby? Thanks a bunch guys.
And that was even before the teams got on the pitch.