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Ground-breaking start to new season

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Leicester Tigers supporters begin a ground-breaking tour when the Aviva Premiership season kicks off this Sunday.

By coincidence of the fixture computer, the Tigers Army will visit three new venues on the first three trips of the season.

For Round One, Tigers are chosen as the first guests of newly-promoted London Welsh who have set up home at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford. The Tig is told this will be the 31st venue to host a Premiership match.

Welsh came through the punishing schedule of the Championship last season, eventually overcoming Cornish Pirates and legal opposition to take their place in the Aviva Premiership for the first time.

They have been ‘rewarded’ with Tigers at home and champions Harlequins away in the opening two weekends; the top two teams in last year’s competition allowing them to see for themselves what the top flight has to offer.

Then, after a home game against Worcester, we’re off to Wembley Stadium – or ‘the new Wembley’ – as selected venue for the Round 3 match against globe-trotting Saracens.

Then, after a couple of weeks on familiar ground, we’re off again and in Round 6 the Tigers make a first-ever trip to Salford City Stadium, the new home of Sale Sharks.

One of the beauties of being involved in European rugby every season, and one of the great appeals of the summer draw for the pool stages of the Heineken Cup, is the prospect of visiting somewhere new.

With Toulouse, Ospreys and Treviso in the Tigers pool this year, that is an opportunity denied, but at least the Tigers travelling support will be able to break new ground much closer to home in Oxford, London and Salford.

That means three opportunities to make a mark on new turf and three fresh chances for the Tigers supporters to make themselves heard.