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McGuigan wants Anglo-Welsh success to be Leicester Tigers’ springboard

Hooker George McGuigan expects success in the Anglo-Welsh Cup to be a springboard for the remainder of Leicester Tigers’ season.

The Tigers beat Exeter Chiefs 16-12 at the Twickenham Stoop, with Freddie Burns kicking 11 points, but are a point outside the top four in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.

And 23-year-old McGuigan, who joined the Tigers from Newcastle Falcons last summer, is determined to use the positivity in the camp to spur Leicester onto greater heights.

“The boys have put in so much hard work in this tournament throughout the year and its just great to get the payoff at the end of it,” he said.

“I think we showed how much we wanted it and how much this tournament means to us as a team, it can springboard our season in general.

“We’ve been struggling throughout the season, there’s been a lot of changes but this can give us a real lift and it’s massive for the whole team.

“Even the wins in the group stages have boosted the team and everyone’s been happier and now winning the tournament is going to be huge.”

McGuigan put in a man-of-the-match performance in the final as Harry Thacker started at flanker and England international Tom Youngs was on the bench.

Tom Brady scored an intercept try for the Tigers, who didn’t score a point in the second half, but their defence held firm to deny Exeter a way back into the final.

And McGuigan was delighted to lift silverware in his first season as a Leicester Tiger and praised the effort of the entire pack.

“One of the reasons I came here was to win stuff, and obviously its amazing to do that in my first season, it’s just incredible and I’m really happy,” he added.

“I’m not sure I’d give myself man of the match, I think everyone worked so hard, the forwards in particular was awesome.

“The defence at the end was incredible it’s just great to get the win at the end.”

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