Matt Banahan, Henry Trinder and Jack Yeandle all spoke of their excitement for the West Country Challenge Cup at this afternoon's launch in front of the iconic West Country landmark, the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The triumvirate of West Country clubs – Bath Rugby, Gloucester Rugby and Exeter Chiefs – will lock horns in a series of competitive games, with kick-off times and dates now confirmed.
Bath winger, Banahan, said: "As players, you can't wait to get out onto the field after the summer and starting off by playing against some of our closest rivals will really get the boys ready for the season ahead.
"I'm sure the supporters of all three clubs will really enjoy getting back into the rugby season with what promise to be some really exciting games."
Fixtures will be played at Bath's Recreation Ground, Exeter's Sandy Park Stadium and the Memorial Stadium in Bristol as Gloucester's regular home at Kingsholm will still be in use for World Cup pool matches.
Trinder, Gloucester's centre, added: "Games against Exeter and Bath are always really tough, so they are a great way for us to test ourselves and see where we are before the Aviva Premiership starts.
"It will be a bit strange for us to not be playing at Kingsholm for our home games, but we're really looking forward to taking to the field at the Memorial Stadium and experiencing another fantastic atmosphere."
The six mouth-watering fixtures have been set up to ensure all three clubs are given meaningful tests ahead of what is sure to be another action-packed campaign in English rugby's top tier.
Exeter hooker, Yeandle, knows how much a derby day game means to everyone involved at all three clubs: "Whether you're playing in them or watching them, there's always something a little bit special about a game against your local rivals, and that will be no different in these games. We're really looking forward to these games and getting a good few outings under our belts ahead of another huge season of domestic and European rugby."
Tickets for Bath Rugby's two home games will go on sale on the following dates:
Bath Rugby v Gloucester
Season Ticket Holders - Monday 3rd August
Premium Members - Wednesday 5th August
Members - Friday 7th August
General sale on Monday 10th August.
Bath Rugby v Exeter Chiefs
Season Ticket Holders - Monday 10th August
Premium Members - Wednesday 12th August
Members - Friday 14th August
General sale - Monday 17th August.
West Country Challenge Cup fixtures confirmed:
Saturday, September 5th – Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby – Sandy Park -16.30
Sunday, September 13th – Gloucester Rugby v Bath Rugby – The Memorial Stadium – 15.00
Saturday, September 19th – Exeter Chiefs v Bath Rugby – Sandy Park – 15.00
Saturday, September 26th – Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby – Recreation Ground – 17.45
Saturday, October 3rd – Gloucester Rugby v Exeter Chiefs – The Memorial Stadium – 15.00
Saturday, October 10th – Bath Rugby v Exeter Chiefs – Recreation Ground – 17.45