- Reigning champions Exeter Chiefs face Gloucester Rugby
- Only Northampton, Harlequins and Bath have had a 100% winning record in a season since 2009
- Northampton Saints will be hosting the LV= Cup Final
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Since LV= began sponsoring the LV= Cup in the 2009/10 season, Exeter Chiefs became the fifth Aviva Premiership team to lift the silverware when they defeated former winners Northampton Saints in front of a sell-out home crowd in March 2014.
The reigning champions kick-off their title defence in the 2014/15 competition at home to Gloucester, while last season’s runners-up Saints have been handed a home tie against Newcastle. No Welsh regions feature on the opening weekend due to Guinness Pro12 commitments.
Only three teams have gone through the pool stages of the LV= Cup with a 100% winning record since 2009: Northampton (2009/10, 2013/14), Harlequins (2010/11, 2012/13) and Bath (2011/12, 2013/14).
Pool 1/4 Fixtures
Bath v London Welsh, Saturday November 1, KO 15:00
Bath marched through last season’s pool stages, producing a clean sweep of wins only to fall to eventual champions Exeter at the semi-final stage. They’ve made the semi-finals in each of the last three years and four times in total but have never won the competition. London Welsh were beaten 53-26 by Bath at The Rec in the Premiership earlier this season and finished bottom of their pool in 2012/13 without a point or a win to their name.
Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby, Saturday November 1, KO 15:00
Exeter won their first major piece of silverware in their 143-year history when they defeated Northampton 15-8 in last year’s LV= Cup Final while Gloucester won the cup at the third time of asking in 2011 after losing in the two previous finals. Exeter won 25-22 when the sides met at Kingsholm in round 3 of the Premiership.
Saracens v Harlequins, Sunday November 2, KO 13:00
This weekend’s live Sky Sports offering comes from Allianz Park where Saracens and Harlequins will be meeting for the second time this season. 2013 champions Harlequins will be desperate to restore some pride after suffering a 39-0 reverse at home to their London rivals in the second round of the Premiership. Saracens have made four semi-finals, in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014 but have never won the competition.
Pool 2/3 Fixtures
Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons, Saturday November 1, KO 16:00
Northampton made it nine wins on a trot against Newcastle when they beat the Falcons 35-10 in round 3 of the Premiership. Northampton have been one of the most consistent sides in the LV= Cup with two losing final appearances and one title win in the last five years. Newcastle have reached the final once, losing 34-7 to Gloucester in 2011.
London Irish v Leicester Tigers, Saturday November 1, KO 15:00
London Irish’s 22-19 win over Leicester at Welford Road at the end of September ended a 10-game winless run against the Tigers in all competitions. Irish’s last victory against Leicester at the Madejski Stadium was an 18-12 win in the Premiership on 24 October 2009. Neither side made much of an impression in last year’s competition, winning a combined total of three matches to exit at the pool stages.
Sale Sharks v Wasps, Saturday November 1, KO 14:00
Sale have lost their last three games, while Wasps go into this tie after back-to-back defeats in the European Champions Cup. Since winning the competition in 2006, Wasps have reached just one semi-final. Sale’s only appearance in the final of the LV= Cup came in 2013 when they lost to Harlequins.