Wales and Ospreys captain Ryan Jones and Leicester counterpart Martin Corry cannot wait to renew hostilities when the Tigers host Ospreys in their Heineken Cup opener at Welford Road on Sunday.
In what is arguably this weekend's biggest clash, the two clubs meet for the fifth time in the last three years in all competitions.
The Tigers won the first three of those fixtures, in the Heineken Cup in 2005-06 and the 2007 EDF Energy Cup final.
But Ospreys finally made it a genuine rivalry when they avenged the latter defeat last season.
Both Jones and Corry believe those matches witnessed the birth of a special bond between the clubs.
Jones said: “It is a fantastic rivalry. We’re getting to know each other really well and it’s become a bit of a romantic fixture for us.
“We had a friendly a few months ago - or not so friendly.
“It’s great and it’s by games like that you measure just how good you are as it’s the pinnacle of club rugby.”
Ospreys were many people’s favourites to win the competition last season until they suffered a shock quarter-final defeat to Saracens.
Jones added “We were bitterly disappointed last year that we didn’t go further on the basis of what was a very successful year for us.
“We finally broke the back of getting out of the group stages and I think we learned a big lesson there.
“If you look at the heavyweights in Europe, the likes of Martin and Leicester, Wasps and Munster, they’ve been at the business end of the tournament year on year.
“They’ve both won and lost some pretty big encounters but they’re teams that have learned from them.”
Corry said: “The great thing with the Heineken Cup is it’s been going 14 years now and you start to build up rivalries and great histories
“One we’ve got with Ryan and the Ospreys. We know each other’s games and we’ve got a huge amount of respect for them.
“They seem to be improving year on year, we’re trying to improve from last year. It should be a great encounter.”
Corry added: “The Heineken Cup - that’s where you judge yourself.
“Everybody says it’s the premier competition in the northern hemisphere. I think it’s the premier competition in the world.”
Both clubs will be hoping to progress from a pool which also includes Perpignan and Benetton Treviso.