Having had to play without seven of their eight frontline forwards – including England captain Martin Johnson – Leicester suffered five straight defeats. But that all came to and end when they beat Wasps, who are themselves without some key players.
Wasps players on World Cup duty are Lawrence Dallaglio, Stuart Abbott and Josh Lewsey.
The match was also an emotional farewell for Leicester fullback Tim Stimpson, who leaves for French club Perpignan next week. Despite not being able to play, because of a knee injury, he received a lengthy standing ovation from supporters when brought on to the pitch at half-time.
Leicester took an early lead, when fly-half Ramiro Pez kicked two penalties and then converted Jim Richards' 12th-minute try, as the Tigers raced into a 13-0 advantage.
But Wasps fly-half Mark van Gisbergen dominated the scoreboard for the next 10 minutes as he slotted penalties in the 15th, 17th and 23rd minutes to narrow the gap to 13-9.
Leicester stretched their lead again in the 28th minute when Neil Baxter marked his debut by going over for his team's second try. Pez added the conversion to make it 20-9. The try by the England Sevens winger, Baxter, was a spectacular effort after a flowing move started all the way back on the Tigers' 22.
Van Gisbergen (two) and Pez (one) slotted further penalties as the home team took a 23-15 advantage into the break.
Leicester sealed the match with a penalty by Pez in the 47th minute and a drop-goal by discarded England jack-of-all-trades Austin Healey – playing in the unfamiliar role of fullback – in the 62nd minute.
Wasps tried bravely to come back and even managed a try by centre Mark Denney – converted by Van Gisbergen – in the 67th minute, but it was all too little too late and the final score went to Leicester, a 78th minute penalty by former Azzurri No.10 Pez.
For Leicester:Tries: Baxter, RichardsCons: Pez 2Pens: Pez 5DG: Healey
For London Wasps:Try: DenneyCon: Van GisbergenPens: Van Gisbergen 5