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Kings of the North fixtures confirmed

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Dates and times of fixtures in the Kings of the North tournament to kick off the new season have now been confirmed by the three clubs.Aviva Premiership Rugby rivals Leicester Tigers, Newcastle Falcons and Sale Sharks meet home and away in the new event during September and October.   The three most northerly clubs in top-flight domestic competition chose Leicester Cathedral, final resting place of King Richard III, for the Kings of the North launch earlier this year and kick off the tournament on the first weekend in September when the Sharks travel to the Falcons.   The opening Tigers fixture is a week later and the last round sees Sharks make the trip to Leicester’s Welford Road stadium on Saturday, October 10, just a week before the Aviva Premiership programme returns.   The fixtures will allow supporters to assess their squads ahead of the league campaign, with significant changes to all three during the summer.   Tigers, who will have new head coach Aaron Mauger alongside director of rugby Richard Cockerill on the touchlines, have announced nine new signings, including lock Mike Fitzgerald, Peter Betham and Brendon O’Connor from Super 15 clubs in the southern hemisphere, and back-rowers Opeti Fonua and Mike Williams.   Falcons boss Dean Richards has brought in scrum-half Micky Young for a second spell at the club, as well as Mike Delany from Clermont Auvergne, England Sevens cap Marcus Watson, and overseas signings Sonatane Takulua, Nili Latu and Giovanbattista Venditti.   At Sale Sharks, Steve Diamond has added former Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer, All Blacks lock Byn Evans and hooker Neil Briggs from Leicester, to his squad.   A dedicated website at www.kingsofthenorth.net includes match details, ticket advice and news updates. Or see the official websites of the three participating clubs.   Admission to all Welford Road fixtures in the Kings of the North tournament is included in Leicester Tigers season tickets for 2015/16. Match tickets are also on general sale now, to personal callers at the ticket office in the new club store in the MET-Rx Stand, via the hotline on 0116 319 8888 (option 2) and online.   Kings of the North fixtures: Saturday, September 5 (3.00pm): Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks Saturday, September 12 (2.30pm): Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers Saturday, September 19 (3.00pm): Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons Friday, September 25 (8.00pm): Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers Friday, October 2 (7.45pm): Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons Saturday, October 10 (3.00pm): Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks