TOP BAR - Fixtures

Mathew Tait prepared to face brother Alex at Kingston Park

Mathew Tait prepared to face brother Alex at Kingston Park

Leicester Tigers’ Mathew Tait will be treating the trip to Kingston Park the same as any other game despite his younger brother lining up for the opposition.

The 30-year-old full back is no stranger to facing brother Alex in Aviva Premiership Rugby these days but won’t be letting that take his focus off the need for a Tigers victory against Newcastle Falcons.

After a remarkable comeback win against Gloucester, Tigers were beaten on their own patch by Wasps 34-22 last weekend – the visitors’ first win at Welford Road since 2008.

And Tait knows how difficult facing his brother’s side on their home turf will be as they also look to bounce back from a disappointing result against Bath on Saturday.

“We have played each other a few times now, it was a bit strange the first few times but we treat it the same as any other game.

“I may try and catch up with him and my parents the night before, it’s nice to catch up with family.

“It’s a difficult place to go. Newcastle can be a tricky place to travel to, they put you under pressure and they target their home games.

“Individual errors are killing us at the moment, guys have been made accountable for that but it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

“We cannot start games as we have done if we are going to try and be in the top four.”

The one positive for Leicester Tigers last weekend was a new club record opening-day attendance against their now near-neighbours Wasps.

In total, 24,088 spectators packed into Welford Road, beating the previous mark of 24,000 against the Falcons on the opening day of the 2009/10 season.

With the newly-redeveloped clubhouse end at Welford Road taking the capacity up to 25,849, Tait was quick to praise the support his side continues to receive year after year.

“It’s amazing now the stand’s finished, it’s a fantastic stadium and our supporters are the best in the country,” he added.

“The way they get behind the team it’s like an extra player and with the new stand it’s fully enclosed so the atmosphere has improved.

“It’s difficult when you’re not playing that well but personally I don’t really notice the noise because you are concentrating on the game.

“Our supporters are fantastic they always get behind the team.”

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