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Aaron Mauger vows improved Leicester Tigers display in Anglo-Welsh Cup final

Aaron Mauger claims Leicester Tigers didn’t give a true account of themselves last time they faced Exeter Chiefs, but the head coach has vowed to put that right in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final on Sunday.

Chiefs beat Tigers 31-10 at Sandy Park on Christmas Eve and completed the Aviva Premiership Rugby season double a fortnight ago by triumphing 34-15 at Welford Road.

Mauger was disappointed by the level of performance his side showed in that latter encounter but they bounced back by earning a first-ever victory at Allianz Park in their Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final last weekend to set up a chance at almost immediate revenge.

Sunday’s showpiece is being held at the Twickenham Stoop and while the personnel may be different to the Aviva Premiership Rugby clashes, Mauger is convinced his troops have learned the lesson from those losses.

“I think the two previous games against Exeter this season probably will have an impact this Sunday,” mused the New Zealander.

“You look at their framework – they played a different side against Harlequins last weekend but it was a similar approach to the Premiership games.

“They’re a very well-coached side, a fantastic team, and we admire the situation they have put themselves in.

“They work hard believe in what they do and have played some great rugby over the past few months – they’re in good form.

“When they came up to Welford Road, we didn’t front up or put in a true account of ourselves, which was disappointing.

“We know we can be better and a lot of the things we didn’t execute against Exeter, we corrected against Saracens.

“We can take positives from that and we’ll be ready for Sunday. We’re confident it will be a better result than last time we played them.”

Leicester Tigers are one of the most storied clubs in world rugby, with ten Premiership Rugby titles and two Anglo-Welsh Cups already to their name.

Yet it is four years since they last lifted a trophy and Mauger believes it is high time they ended that wait.

“It’s hugely important that we win on Sunday – it means a lot to us,” added Mauger.

“We’ve targeted this competition and we’ve used a whole lot of players during the Anglo-Welsh campaign, so for us to head to the Stoop on Sunday and have a crack at winning a trophy is pretty special.

“The players that go out there and represent their club will do us proud I’m sure and give us the best chance of coming back with a cup.

“I’m really proud of the performance down at Saracens last weekend, which has given us the opportunity to play a final this week.

“It was nice to get the monkey off our back with our first victory down there. The way the team went about the performance was outstanding.

“This competition has been fantastic for us and we’ll have a really good crack at a cup on Sunday.”

Tickets for the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 19 March are now on sale. Click here to buy yours.

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