Fixtures - Top Bar

Balmain backs Tigers to rediscover their cutting edge

Leicester Tigers have struggled for a cutting edge all season long but prop Fraser Balmain is confident his side are starting to hit their stride just when they need it most.

Richard Cockerill’s side need two bonus-point wins in the European Champions Cup over the next fortnight to maintain any realistic hopes of progressing from a Pool that includes defending champions Toulon.

That starts with the visit of Scarlets to Welford Road on Friday night but the Tigers have not been at their clinical best this season with only 21 tries in Aviva Premiership Rugby, the second lowest total of any team in the league.

Despite that low tally the Tigers have been in impressive form in recent weeks, barring their loss at Quins last time out, and Balmain is hoping he and his teammates can produce their best.

“We will just focus on the win against Scarlets rather than the bonus point,” he said.

“If that comes then great, we have got players that are capable of creating something from nothing.

“Attacking wise, we can make excuses about injuries but we are not that sort of team. It’s been a few reasons really.

“We have gone for three points sometimes and then if you look at the Quins game last weekend, we made plenty of line breaks. It’s a matter of finishing them off and being clinical.

“Scarlets are the sort of side that will capitalise on any silly errors, as that first game showed.

“We need to make sure we cut them out and hopefully we can get back to our best, we are a tight-knit team and we don’t want the Quins loss to knock our momentum.”

While injuries have been something of a curse for the Tigers this season, for tighthead Balmain they have also created a huge opportunity.

With both Dan Cole and Logovi’i Mulipola struggling with injury over the first half of the campaign the former Newcastle Falcon has appeared 16 times already.

And with 11 starts to his name, the 23-year-old was rewarded with a new two-year deal after Christmas, much to his delight.

“I have played much more than I thought I would this season which has been great,” he added.

“And to sign a new contract here is fantastic, I am excited about the future at the club.

“Logo (Mulipola) is a huge bloke to be fair, so it’s great to have him back in the team. I am good mates with him and Coley (Dan Cole) so that competition is a good thing for the squad.

“I will keep working hard, I would like to think that I have improved a lot this season so I hope that can continue.”

Get 20 per cent off a limited number of tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Visit http://www.tickethour.co.uk/premierrugby/ to take advantage of this great offer.

Latest News

World Rugby welcomes Berlin Consensus Statement on concussion in sport

Expert group publishes comprehensive review of scientific papers on concussion Rugby continues to be aligned with recommended best practice Cross-sport…

Mark Lambert issues rallying call for Harlequins’ top-six push

A third season in a row without top flight European rugby is not an option for a club of Harlequins’…

Gloucester’s Henry Trinder: Top-six place at stake adds to West Country derby

Gloucester will be travelling to The Rec for their West Country derby against Bath in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday…

Henry Trinder

Referee appointments: Barnes, Garner and Doyle all in action

Three of Aviva Premiership Rugby’s most experienced referees will take to the field this weekend as another highly-charged round of…

The Premiership Rugby Final Photographic competition

To mark exactly one month to go to the 15th Premiership Rugby Final, on 27 May, Premiership Rugby are holding a…

Owen Farrell

Wasps team to play Harlequins at The Stoop

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his side to travel to The Twickenham Stoop on Friday night to face…

Josh Bassett

Newcastle Falcons team to face Worcester Warriors

Sonatane Takulua returns as one of five changes to Newcastle Falcons’ team for Friday’s Aviva Premiership visit of Worcester Warriors…

Sonatane Takulua

Heem returns for Worcester Warriors for Newcastle Falcons trip

Worcester Warriors have made four changes to the starting line-up ahead of Friday night’s trip to Kingston Park to take…

Bryce Heem

Harlequins team to play Wasps

Harlequins has announced the team to play Wasps in Round 21 of the Aviva Premiership at The Stoop tomorrow, kick-off…

Nick Evans

Ian Evans to retire from professional rugby

Based on medical advice, Ian Evans has regrettably had to retire from professional rugby following fifteen years in the sport.…

Ian Evans

Saracens to bid farewell to legendary pair against Bristol

On Saturday afternoon Saracens will bid a final farewell to two of the club’s most revered players, with Kelly Brown…

Kelly Brown

Jon Fisher to take a break from professional rugby

Jonathan Fisher, by mutual agreement with Bristol Rugby, has opted to take time out to assess his playing career following…

Jon Fisher

Planning Application for Allianz Park West Stand Improvement Approved by Barnet Council

Saracens are pleased to announce that planning application to improve Allianz Park has now been approved by Barnet Council at…

Allianz Park

Fruean expecting extra special derby for Bath Rugby

The contrasting fortunes of Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby in their respective European Challenge Cup semi-finals will add extra spice…

Fitzgerald confident Leicester Tigers can go all the way to Aviva Premiership Rugby Final

Leicester Tigers’ Mike Fitzgerald admits it’s been a tricky year for the club on and off the pitch but is…

Sale Sharks’ Denny Solomona licking his lips at chance to join England ranks

Sale Sharks’ Denny Solomona admits he is relishing the chance to taste international rugby following his inclusion in England’s squad…

Mark Wilson out to help Newcastle Falcons to 15-year high

Having been at the forefront of their improved efforts this season, Mark Wilson is determined to help Newcastle Falcons to…

Mark Wilson

‘Time to pick up where we left off,’ says Wasps’ Matt Mullan ahead of Harlequins showdown

Matt Mullan has his fingers crossed that Wasps can tune back in to the momentum that has taken them to…

Worcester Warriors bring in Defence & Kicking Strategy Coach Omar Mouneimne

Worcester Warriors have recruited Omar Mouneimne as Defence & Kicking Strategy Coach. The South African, who has a wealth of…

Omar Mouneimne