Bath Rugby flanker David Denton has warned his team-mates to expect a hungry Leicester Tigers at the Recreation Ground this weekend.
The Tigers are desperate to main their Aviva Premiership Rugby form ahead of the end-of-season semi-finals while Bath’s only victory in their last four league matches was at home to Sale Sharks in the rearranged round nine encounter.
Richard Cockerill’s Leicester have already guaranteed a top-four-finish in the Premiership while Bath are languishing down in ninth position and in need of a win.
This time last year Bath ran riot against the Tigers at the Rec in the semi-final and Denton knows Bath will need to produce a similar performance if they want to get anything out of this game.
“There’s no doubt Leicester will be out for revenge after the game last year, so we have to be aware of that,” said Denton.
“They are a very good team and what they have showed is that they are so consistent.
“I’m convinced that we can be the best team in Europe on our day, but Leicester have that ability to do that week-in, week-out, which we’ve struggled with this season.
“They will look to put us under pressure up front, I’m sure, so we need to be ready for that.”
Leicester Tigers have already ensured a 12th successive participation in the play-offs, and have won their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters since their reversal at Sale in round 18.
The last four encounters between the two clubs have been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Tigers most recent victory at Recreation Ground in Premiership Rugby came in March 2011.
Leicester’s Dom Barrow said: “It’s nice to know we have the top four secured heading into the final weekend, but at the same time it is so important from a momentum point of view to win our last game.
“There’s also the fact that last season – when I wasn’t at the club – we went down to the Rec twice and got beaten by a pretty considerable margin both times, so that has been spoken about as well as a lot of the boys want to avenge that.
“We are keen to restore a bit of pride, and generally speaking over the last few weeks Bath have shown some of the form that got them into the Aviva Premiership final last year.
“They are starting to play some really good stuff, and it really is tough to understand what has gone on at the club this season without seeing it from the inside.
“But they are still winning big games, playing good rugby, and they have a lot of talented players there still. So they can’t be underestimated by any stretch and we’ll have to be right on our game to get a result down there.”
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (18th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan & Roger Baileff. TMO: Trevor Fisher.