Leicester Tigers preview - Stuart Hooper

4 October 2019

Tomorrow is another building block towards the Premiership season after last weekend’s victory against Worcester Warriors. There are elements from our performance, which has given us momentum in training, which we’ve used to shape into today’s game.

Our line-out and scrum were solid throughout and we really took the game to the Worcester pack, which only bodes well for us moving forwards. We started to see the attack taking shape off the set-piece, which resulted in some tries coming off the back of it, which was particularly pleasing.

It was the first time that the 15 had played together, so there were always going to be areas that we were going to have to work on. After such a strong and dominant first 40 minutes, we were all disappoint to have conceded 28 points, especially at home. That accuracy in our defence in the second half was one of the contributing factors but has been something that we’ve analysed in the early part of the week. 

To have lost Max Green so early on in the second half was also a big blow. A scrum-half is such an integral position in terms of game management, so to lose that key cog presented us with a challenge. It was a scenario that many of the squad wouldn’t have been exposed to previously, but is an experience that we will take a lot from. There will be times throughout the season where we have to adapt to certain situations, so to be tested at this stage will only help us grow as a squad. A lot of credit has to go to Tom (de Glanville) and Tom (Homer) for taking on that responsibility and helping guide us through.  

We’ve got another opportunity to continue our preparation into the opening round of the Premiership. Irrespective of competition, facing Leicester is something that players and supporters alike always look forward to. Tomorrow is no different and it’s always great to look around before the game and see another big crowd at the Rec. 

Leicester head into the game off the back of an encouraging result last week against Exeter. Every team we face over this four-week period are in their infancy in terms of their journey, but they have already displayed their ability to score tries in a number of ways. Even with the likes of George (Ford), Manu (Tuilagi) and Jonny (May) away with England, they’ve got some decent threats, which we’ll have to make sure we’re on top of.

What is exciting is that we’ve got players putting their hand up in training desperate to be involved at the weekend. To be presented with those difficult decisions and selection headaches is exactly what we need over the course of a long season. To have players pushing each other and driving standards is what will take us to the heights that we’re aspiring to as a Club.

After tomorrow, we’ve got two games away from home including a trip to a sold-out Ashton Gate. Like last season, it’s going to be another spectacle and hope to see many of you there getting behind the boys.

Look forward to seeing you back here under the Friday night lights for the visit of Exeter later this month.


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