WORCESTER Warriors will kick-off the new Aviva Premiership campaign with a visit from West Country rivals Bath on Saturday, September 1.

The clash with Bath is followed a week later by the always-difficult trip to Leicester Tigers, when former Warrior Miles Benjamin will get an early chance to face his old team-mates.

Richard Hill’s new-look squad then face a mouth-watering early-season derby against Gloucester at Sixways on Saturday, September 15.

Warriors entertain top-flight newcomers London Welsh over the Christmas period as the Exiles visit on Saturday, December 22, while Worcester kick-off 2013 with the return clash against Leicester Tigers at Sixways on Saturday, January 5.

Reigning league champions Harlequins visit Sixways for the penultimate game of the season on Saturday, April 20, before Warriors bring the curtain down on the campaign with a trip to Oxford to face London Welsh on Saturday, May 4.

Head coach Hill said: “It is always exciting to see the fixture list and we start with a mouth-watering double at home against Bath and then Gloucester.

“A number of the coaching staff, in myself, Nigel Redman and Phil Vickery, are very familiar with these clubs and it is an attractive start for us in our home campaign.

“Both teams have new coaching staff so it will be difficult to read them early on. They will potentially be a little unknown as they may change their playing style and we can’t assume they will play the same way as last year. We’re excited by the challenge ahead.”

He added: “We will break the season down into blocks and it is crucial we get off to a good start in the first seven. Last year we picked up 10 points after winning the opening day against Sale Sharks. We didn’t back that opening win up and this year we must learn from that and do much better.

“It’s always crucial to start well and pick up points and build momentum. We started slowly last season and picked up in the middle of the season, this year we want a big start and to keep it going.”

Warriors 2012/2013 fixture list (home games in capitals):

September 1 BATH

September 8 Leicester Tigers

September 15 GLOUCESTER

September 22 Northampton Saints

September 29 LONDON IRISH

October 6 London Wasps

October 27 SALE SHARKS

November 3 Exeter Chiefs

November 24 SARACENS

December 1 Harlequins

December 22 LONDON WELSH

December 29 Sale Sharks


February 9 Bath


February 23 Gloucester


March 23 London Irish


April 13 Saracens


May 4 London Welsh