After long trips north to County Durham and Leeds already this season, there is a much closer rivalry on Saturday when Leicester Tigers meet Loughborough in a local derby encounter in Women’s Championship North.
The Tigers squad will create another piece of club history as they share matchday with their male colleagues for the first time at Mattioli Woods Welford Road with kick off against Loughborough Town Ladies (3.15pm) following the men’s fixture against an Italian Select XV (1.00pm).
The women’s squad have already written the opening chapters in their history during a debut season which included a first-ever game at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in September, when prop Ofure Ugiagbe became the first member of the team to score at the stadium on the way to a 36-0 victory over a Cheltenham team who won the league last year.
An even bigger crowd is in prospect this weekend and Tigers head of women’s rugby, Vicky Macqueen, said: “Everyone handled it really well when we had that first game at the stadium, I was very impressed with how the players did that.
“Having a derby game and being back at Mattioli Woods Welford Road adds to the excitement, but we just aim to do a job every week and stick to our game. We have to treat it as another step on our journey.”
Tigers are unbeaten in the opening four rounds – beating Bishop Auckland, Worcester and West Park Leeds on the road as well as the home win over Cheltenham – while Loughborough have lost just once as Saturday’s rival teams have scored more than 325 points between them so far this season.
In team news announced on Thursday evening, Tigers will be led by centre Natasha Jones who missed the Round 4 trip to West Park, and there are two potential debutants among the replacements as Sophie McMeekin and Zoe Warrington receive their first call-up to the matchday squad.
Tigers will be in the club’s traditional colours of green, white and red.
Check out our Matchday Guide to find out more about the Double Header and how to get the most out of your afternoon with Tigers.
Entry is included in season tickets. Match tickets are still available. Book online, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or in person.