Louis Deacon admits Leicester Tigers’ season could be decided in their next two games and is urging his side to get off to a fast start against Harlequins this Saturday in front of the Sky cameras.
The Tigers regained top spot in the Aviva Premiership for the first time since the final day of the 2010-11 season thanks to a 28-12 victory over London Welsh last time out.
This was a fifth-straight league win on the trot for Deacon and co but this run is set to be put to the test in their next two fixtures.
First up is a trip to the Stoop to take on reigning champions Quins before the Tigers return to Welford Road to host 2011 title winners Saracens.
However Leicester have won on their last eight trips to the Stoop and Deacon is after more of the same as this Aviva Premiership season nears its climax.
“The next two games for us could be crucial in the outcome of the season so it is important we get off to a good start,” Deacon said.
“We have Harlequins before playing Saracens and these are two of the tougher fixtures you could ask for.
“We are back on top now and we want to keep it that way and while we will be tested with these very tough fixtures we are committed to doing just that.
“It all starts with Quins and if we can get a result there then that will give us a boost to take on Saracens and go on for the rest of the season.”
It took until 2011 for Harlequins to record a second Premiership win over the Tigers since the tournament began in 1997.
However since then Quins have won three of the last four meetings and prop Mark Lambert insists he can’t wait to sink his teeth into the Leicester Tigers pack once again.
"When I was younger you look at these games with a bit more trepidation but as you get older you relish the challenge of playing against them," Lambert said.
"You aim to go out and do as best you can against whoever it may be whether it's (Martin) Castrogiovanni, (Logovi'i) Mulipola or (Marcos) Ayerza.
"I am looking forward to the challenge of coming up against the Leicester pack. They have great front-row options.
"We are looking forward to it and it will be a big test for us. You always want to beat Leicester.”
(Twickenham Stoop, 5.15pm)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (116th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle, Ashley Rowden. TMO: David Grashoff.
Live on Sky Sports HD