Fixtures - Top Bar

Smith enjoying time at resurgent Tigers

MattSmithLeicsEurope1516SB1005

As England’s most successful club it’s virtually impossible for Leicester Tigers to fly under the radar, and with nine wins from ten in all competitions this season, Matt Smith admits they can’t hide any longer.

That’s particularly true after back-to-back wins over Munster in the Champions Cup, something no other team had ever done in Europe.

While Leicester have made the play-offs every year since 2004, Smith admits the last couple of years have seen Tigers fall back a little, and he believes the culture of the club is back to where it should be, not least thanks to the return of Aaron Mauger in a coaching role.

Never has that change been more evident than on Sunday during the win over Munster at Welford Road. When Kiwi centre Francis Saili pounced on a loose ball in midfield, he looked for all money to be on his way over for a breakaway try.

New signing Telusa Veainu refused to give up though and chased him down, leading to a Leicester penalty, as the Tigers showed what they were made of.

“From the start of pre-season we have been pushing the culture of the club which in the last couple of seasons hasn’t been as clear as we’d have liked,” he said.

“When you see someone like Telusa Veainu running back and getting that penalty you want to do the same for him.

“That’s the mentality we want to see at the club, and you can definitely see Aaron’s influence rubbing off on everyone.

“We’ve talked about getting better every week and not taking a backwards step. We are four from four now in Europe and looking forward to hopefully going for a home quarter-final.

“It certainly gives you a lot of confidence going forward when you go and beat a team like Munster away from home.”

Smith has been a central part in Leicester’s success so far this season, linking up with the exciting Peter Betham in midfield.

Manu Tuilagi and Jean de Villiers will come into the mix in the New Year, but while Smith enjoys the competition for places, he also believes the run of matches has done his own game a lot of good.

“Aaron has told me to go out and express myself, and getting a run of games has been great for me,” he added.

“But then again, you need strength in depth because there are always injuries over a long season, so it will be great to have those guys available.

“You want competition for places and it’s a sign we’re going in the right direction.”

Click here to see the rest of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures #AvivaPrem

Latest News

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball