Premiership: Leicester Tigers begin title defence with trip to Exeter while Bristol and Johann van Graan’s Bath face off

Adam Kyriacou

Reigning champions Leicester Tigers will kick off their Premiership title defence against Exeter at Sandy Park, it’s been announced.

Steve Borthwick’s men lifted the domestic silverware for the first time since 2013 two months ago as a late Freddie Burns drop-goal saw off Saracens.

The Tigers won’t have it easy first up on September 10, however, with this difficult trip to Exeter while Saracens will open the season with a bye week.

Friday, September 9 is the opening day of the 2022/23 campaign as Bristol Bears face Bath at Ashton Gate while Northampton head to Sale Sharks.

The final is scheduled for May 27 and has been brought forward by three weeks to give England more preparation time before Rugby World Cup 2023.

In a boost for terrestrial viewers, Premiership Rugby has confirmed that the final will be televised live on ITV, with BT Sport again the main provider.

“We are very excited for the new Gallagher Premiership season and the challenges that come with being a part of one of rugby’s most competitive leagues,” said Leicester Tigers head coach Borthwick after the fixture announcement on Tuesday.

“Kicking off our campaign away from home against a quality outfit like Exeter will be a great opportunity to test ourselves from the opening round against a side of their calibre.”

New Bath head coach Johann van Graan added: “We are relishing the opportunity to open the season with a local derby. Before then, there is a lot of hard work to be done by everyone at the club, and we will continue to build towards that first round.”

Opening Premiership fixtures

September 9

Bristol v Bath
Sale v Northampton

September 10

Exeter v Leicester
London Irish v Worcester
Newcastle v Harlequins

September 11

Gloucester v Wasps

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