London Welsh face Leicester Tigers in Premiership opener

London Welsh celebrate winning the Championship last season

Newly promoted London Welsh will host nine-time English champions Leicester Tigers at their new home in Oxford in the opening round of the 2012-13 Premiership season.

Defending champions Harlequins will take on Wasps in the London Double Header curtain raiser at Twickenham.

Saracens face London Irish in the other Twickenham match on 1 September.

Elsewhere new-look Bath travel to Worcester, Gloucester host Northampton and Sale travel to Exeter.

London Welsh, whose participation in the competition was only confirmed at an appeal on Friday, face a testing second match when they face Harlequins at the Stoop.

"We're delighted to draw Leicester and Harlequins, they were by far the best two teams in England last year, and they're arguably in the top half a dozen sides in Europe," Exiles head coach Lyn Jones said.

"The challenge we face against Leicester and Harlequins is as big as London Welsh has ever faced."

Other notable clashes see last season's finalists, Quins and Tigers, meet up at Welford Road over the weekend of 21/22/23 September.

The first West country derby sees Bath travel to Kingsholm to face Nigel Davies's revamped Gloucester in round six (5/6/7 October).

The opening East Midlands derby has Saints travelling to Leicester for the first weekend in November.

The play-off semi-finals are scheduled for 11/12 May, with the final at Twickenham on Saturday 25 May.

A full list of the season's matches can be found on the official Aviva Premiership website. external-link

Aviva Premiership 2012-13 first-round matches (to be played 31 August-2 September)
SaracensvLondon Irish
London WelshvLeicester