TOP BAR - Fixtures

Henry Slade ready to lay demons to rest at Ricoh Arena

Henry Slade must have thought his season was over when he broke his leg against Wasps in December but the England international has bounced back and is desperate to finish this campaign on a high.

The 23-year-old will return to Coventry for the first time since breaking his leg and ankle in their Aviva Premiership Rugby victory.

This time however, it is for the Chiefs’ first-ever European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final and a potential semi-final berth in the northern hemisphere’s premier club cup competition.

Slade has four games under his belt already after returning ahead of schedule from his lay-off and the versatile centre is itching to prove he is back to his best.

“The leg feels better with each week really,” he said.

“I am actually quite glad I am getting it out of the way (going back to the Ricoh) now rather than waiting until next season.

“It is still a little bit sore but I’ve been back four games now and they’ve all helped, I do not really think about it now.

“I’m not really worrying about it too much."

The Chiefs were in the Challenge Cup last year and made it all the way to the semi-finals.

But this year they squeaked through an incredibly tough pool that included Clermont Auvergne, Bordeaux-Bègles and Ospreys in dramatic fashion.

And the Devonian cannot wait to test himself at Europe’s top table.

"It is a massive game and one that we have worked really hard over the last couple of seasons to get to,” added the two-times capped international.

"We were disappointed last year to be in the lower competition but we had a good season in the league to get back up to where we are now.

"We just want to make the most of it and take our chance.

"We’ve got them again in a couple of weeks in the league too so they’re both equally big.”

Wasps are probably the in-form side in Europe, they have only lost once in their last 11 games in all competitions.

But the Chiefs have beaten them once already at the Ricoh this season and Slade insists his side are ready for the threats that Dai Young’s side will bring.

"Confidence is high and morale is good, we are having a good time at the minute but we know that this is a different competition and going back to Coventry for the second time in a season,” added Slade.

"Wasps have been absolutely flying so we know it is going to be a tough game.

"They are a very attacking side so we have to watch out for that, but we try not to change too much as we don’t
want to get too far away from our game.”
 

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