Fixtures - Top Bar

Smith enjoying time at resurgent Tigers

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

England Rugby squad update

Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson is a step closer to making his England return after being one of 24 players retained…

Anthony Watson

Piutau hoping West Country derby brings the best out of Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby centre Siale Piutau admits there is no better way for his side to bounce back from a bruising…

Mark Jennings: In-form Sale Sharks can topple Saracens

Sale Sharks’ Mark Jennings believes his in-form side are now reaping the fruits of their tough European campaign – and…

Zach Mercer to lead England U20 against Italy

England Under 20 have made eight changes to the starting line-up for their Six Nations match against Italy at the…

Will Witty targets top six as Newcastle Falcons push continues

Newcastle Falcons are enjoying their best season in over a decade and lock Will Witty believes a top-six finish is…

Round 16 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s only two victories in Aviva Premriship Rugby this season came in successive matches, against Worcester and Sale over…

Bristol v Bath

Ticket sales for Derby Day at Wembley hit 50,000

Ticket sales for this year’s Derby Day spectacle between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium have now hit 50,000! The…


Round 16 Preview: Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Wasps are without a win in their last four first team fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma in the Champions…

Wasps v Gloucester

Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes…

Round 16 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs only defeat in their last ten first team matches was at Clermont-Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on…

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Round 16 Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Northampton Saints have slipped to successive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats at Bath and at Newcastle but have not lost three…

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Jack Wilson extends stay with Bath Rugby

Jack Wilson has extended his stay with Bath Rugby until at least 2019, the Club are delighted to confirm. The…

Jack Wilson

Guy Mercer relishing Bath Rugby’s rigorous preparation this term

Bath Rugby club captain Guy Mercer believes meticulous planning has laid the foundations for a successful end to the season.…

Newcastle Falcons sign Canadian try machine DTH van der Merwe

Newcastle Falcons have added another proven top-level try-scorer to their squad with the news that Canada and Scarlets wing DTH…

DTH van der Merwe

Round 16 Preview: Saracens v Sale Sharks

Saracens are without a win in their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures and have not gone four in a…

Saracens v Sale Sharks

Round 16 Preview: Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Harlequins are one of only two sides with a 100 per cent home winning record in Aviva Premiership Rugby this…

Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Phil Swainston joins Harlequins from Wasps

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 22nd February), the signing of Wasps tighthead prop Phil Swainston, who will join…

Phil Swainston

BT Sport and ITV coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby

A breathless round of Aviva Premiership Rugby action last week saw records smashed, underdogs triumph, and tries galore with a…

Live TV matches on BT Sport for Round 21

Premiership Rugby can confirm that Harlequins’ crucial clash with Wasps in the penultimate round of Aviva Premiership Rugby has been chosen…

Wasps v Harlequins