International table tennis in Preston on Tuesday

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Don’t miss your chance to see the cream of English table tennis in action in Preston this Tuesday night, April 11.

Both the men’s and women’s national teams – the Englad Leopards – are playing at UCLan’s Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre.

They are competing in the home legs of their European Championships qualifying play-offs in a double-header.

The men’s team is taking on Slovakia while the women face Spain – and it is the first time both teams have been in action on the same day on home soil since they met

Australia in Preston in 2014.

The men will be represented by World Team Championships bronze medallists and Team GB trio Paul Drinkhall, Liam Pitchford and Sam Walker, who reached the team quarter-finals in the Rio Olympics before being beaten by all-conquering China, plus David McBeath.

The women’s team is spearheaded by London 2012 Olympian Kelly Sibley and also includes Commonwealth Games silver medallist Tin-Tin Ho an Denise Payet.

The teams’ respective away legs take place a week later.

And the winners will then play in the top division at the European Championships in Luxembourg later this year, while the losers will drop into the second tier.

Sibley said: “We’ve played in Preston a few times now and we can’t fault the venue – the playing conditions are perfect.

“We always have good support and as this is a great opportunity to see the men and women play together, so hopefully we’ll get that support again.”

Tickets, costing £6 (£4 concessions), can be bought on the door from 6pm. The action starts at 7pm.