Jono Kitto is ready to show the Leicester Tigers fans just what he has learned from his fellow scrum-halves at the club, should he be given the chance to try and tame the Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday.
Kiwi Kitto arrived in England last summer from Super Rugby’s Chiefs’ development squad, admitting it was a dream come true after falling in love with the club on the computer game ‘Rugby 08’.
The 24-year-old has found opportunities to don the famous No.9 jersey hard to come by however, with England and British & Irish Lion Ben Youngs and Sam Harrison now ahead of him in the pecking order.
And the New Zealander is hoping to show the Welford Road faithful exactly what he has learned from his peers since joining the ten-time Aviva Premiership Rugby champions.
“It’s great to be around these two [Youngs and Harrison] and learn so much as they both add different things to the team,” Kitto said.
“Youngs’ talent is well documented with England and Leicester, he can break the line and he’s got a lot of experience, he can win a game and he’s an excellent bloke to watch.
“Sam is like another flanker he makes a lot of tackles. He loves to get in the thick of it and that’s great too.
“It’s great for me, it shows me a full picture so I can pick and adapt things to put into my game.
“I want to go out there and play as well as I can and learning from them on the training pitch and applying that in the game will help me.”
As well as the Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Bath, Kitto has started one Aviva Premiership Rugby game this season – against Worcester Warriors – and featured for a quarter-of-an-hour off the bench against Sale Sharks.
However, he has never faced Newport Gwent Dragons in his time with Leicester and is champing at the bit to get the chance to change all that on Saturday as Tigers bid to make it two wins from as many Anglo-Welsh Cup games this term.
“We have not had them in the European competition since I have been here so it will be the first time I have encountered them if I am lucky enough to get out on the field,” Kitto added.
“They are relative unknowns to us though we have footage, it will be a good challenge.
“You have to focus on what you can control, do some homework but you don’t know exactly what you are going to get.
“It’s great for individuals to play different players and meet new guys you come off the field and share a conversation with them you may know them from before and be able to touch base.
“It’s great for building relationships with other blokes and on the other side of things it’s good to freshen up so we’re not just playing English teams week in, week out.
“It’s exciting in that regard you want to see what will be thrown at you and we’ll want to put in a good performance ourselves.”
The second round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup kicks off this weekend. For full details of the tournament and tickets for the Final at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 19 March see www.new-heroes.com