A trio of Tigers headed to Twickenham on Wednesday for the launch of this season’s Gallagher Premiership.
Head coach Geordan Murphy, club captain Tom Youngs and back-rower Guy Thompson made the trip to HQ for the event, which marks a major milestone in the countdown to the new season.
Youngs joined players from the 11 other sides in England’s top tier – including newly promoted London Irish – for the traditional photo with the Premiership trophy, as well as taking part in media interviews and other filming with the league’s partners.
Murphy and Thompson were also on hand to talk about Tigers’ pre-season preparations, which are building to a head ready for the start of the Premiership season away to Worcester Warriors on Saturday, October 19.
Speaking to LTTV pitch-side at Twickenham, Murphy said: "The Premiership launch is always an interesting day."
"It's nice that you get to chat with some of the other coaches, players, captains and see where everyone is at."
A former club captain, Murphy was attending his first launch as head coach after several as skipper and admitted it was easier in the current role – especially as he need not apply make-up, which current Tigers skipper Youngs was requested to do.
"There are probably more media responsibilities for the captain .... I thought Tom Youngs was particularly impressive today, refusing to wear make-up," the coach said, through a smile.
"Tommy is our boy and that is exactly what we want from him."
Before the Gallagher Premiership season begins, teams will take part in a month-long Premiership Cup campaign alongside the Rugby World Cup in Japan and Murphy knows all too well the challenges clubs face in these seasons – especially after a longer-than-usual pre-season schedule.
"The World Cup year is always a tricky one in that you have that longer pre-season ... we needed that, to do a little bit more work on our fitness," admitted Murphy.
"The boys have been incredible with how they have applied themselves and how hard they have worked. I'm looking forward to the season starting."
Elsewhere, all 31 players in England’s Rugby World Cup squad were involved in festivities from afar, posing in their new club kits for the 2019/20 season.
Dan Cole, George Ford, Ellis Genge, Jonny May, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs all wore Tigers’ new home kit – also released on Wednesday – alongside their international colleagues and head coach Eddie Jones.
The scheduled start of the domestic season has been pushed back in 2019, with the Gallagher Premiership kicking off following the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup pool stages in Japan.
Tigers also have four Premiership Rugby Cup fixtures ahead of the new campaign, with home fixtures against Exeter Chiefs and Northampton Saints as well as another trip to Worcester and away to Bath.
The first competitive rugby of the season starts this Friday, September 13 with all 12 Premiership teams taking part in the Premiership Rugby 7s at Franklin’s Gardens.
For a full list of Tigers fixtures throughout the season, head to the link below.