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No giveaways in Euro guessing game

At this time of the year The Tig is normally obsessed with the machinations of rugby across three leagues and six countries, trying to work out likely destinations for European travel in the following season.

This time, of course, everything is different.

The European Finals in Champions and Challenge Cups were scheduled for the end of May, with all the spotlight and glamour that goes with them. And the Gallagher Premiership should have been hitting its climax this weekend at Twickenham.

Instead, nine rounds of the Gallagher Premiership remain unplayed, though a proposed restart date in August has provided a glimmer of hope.

The knockout stages of Europe – where Tigers are still scheduled to host visitors Castres Olympique in the last eight – remain mothballed and the French have suspended league fixtures.

That makes predicting what happens next an impossible task, in common with just about everything else since the start of the lockdown more than three long months ago.

Normally, The Tig would have the tables and the fixtures from various leagues sat side by side, together with some of the complex rules around European qualification, to try to put at least the corners and at best most of the edges in place in the jigsaw of the forthcoming European season.

Motivation is two-fold. Selfishly, to assess our chances of getting as far in European competition as possible, and equally selfishly, to see where the best trips can be found.

Out of Europe might have been a government priority, but the opposite is true for the fans weaned on the likes of wins in Pau, Perpignan and Paris. There’s always the chance of somewhere new – for Tig that would include a Connacht or a La Rochelle – alongside some old favourites as this is also usually the time of year to play virtual travel agent.

But for now we can only dream on.

There might be a glimpse of daylight for domestic action but not even a spark for cross-border encounters or the option of actually travelling to any of them. But it won’t stop The Tig keeping an eye on fortunes and fixtures further afield, hoping to get back among them whenever we can.