Sarries for starters, but then it's not too hard for London IrishBy Alan Manicom
July 04, 2012
London Irish will kick off their Aviva Premiership campaign against Saracens in the London Double Header at Twickenham on September 1 (live on ESPN, 4.30pm kick-off).
The match, which has been designated as an away game for Irish, will be seen as a tough opener.
But Exiles' next four games are all against teams who finished below them last season, giving them the perfect opportunity to get off to their usual good start.
The first home fixture will be against Gloucester on the weekend of September 8, a rerun of the final game of last season when a mass brawl marred Irish's emphatic 52-18 win.
Hooker David Paice will be suspended when the clubs meet again as a result of his red card for fighting with Gloucester's Jim Hamilton last time around.
But Hamilton, who was also dismissed, and London Irish No. 8 Ofisa Treviranus, who was sinbinned for his part in the bust-up, will have served their bans by then and be eligible to play.
Former Exiles head coach Toby Booth will make a swift return to Madejski Stadium following his switch to Bath this summer.
Booth, now head coach at Bath, will bring his new team to Reading on the weekend of September 22.
Either side of that game Irish have trips to Wasps and Worcester Warriors.
Worcester will be their opponents for the St Patrick’s Party game on the weekend of March 23, while defending champions Harlequins travel to Madejski Stadium on the weekend of October 27.
Other home highlights include entertaining last season’s beaten Premiership finalists Leicester Tigers on the weekend of December 22 and the visit of Saracens on the weekend of February 9.
Irish's last home game of the regular season will be against newly promoted London Welsh on the weekend of April 20.
And Brian Smith's team will complete their league campaign with a tough trip to Leicester on the first weekend in May.
All fixtures are subject to change as Sky Sports and ESPN decide which matches to televise live.
LONDON IRISH FIXTURES 2012/13
Sep 1 Saracens (a), 8 Gloucester (h), 15 Wasps (a), 22 Bath (h), 29 Worcester (a).
Oct 6 Northampton (h), 13 Amlin Cup, 20 Amlin Cup, 28 Harlequins (h).
Nov 3 Sale (a), 10 Anglo-Welsh Cup, 17 Anglo-Welsh Cup, 24 Exeter (h).
Dec 1 London Welsh (a), 8 Amlin Cup, 15 Amlin Cup, 22 Leicester (h), 29 Harlequins (a).
Jan 5 Gloucester (a), 12 Amlin Cup, 19 Amlin Cup, 26 Anglo-Welsh Cup.
Feb 2 Anglo-Welsh Cup, 9 Saracens (h), 16 Bath (a), 24 Wasps (h).
Mar 2 Northampton (a), 9 Anglo-Welsh Cup semis, 16 Anglo-Welsh Cup final, 23 Worcester (h), 30 Sale (h).
Apr 6 Amlin Cup qtr-finals, 13 Apr Exeter (a), 20 London Welsh (h), 27 Amlin Cup semis.
May 4: Leicester (a), 11 Premiership semis, 17 Amlin Cup final, 25 Premiership final.