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Preview: Leicester Tigers v Harlequins Preview: Leicester Tigers v Harlequins

Preview: Leicester Tigers v Harlequins

No matter which way it is viewed Harlequins wing Tom Williams admits the Leicester Tigers have gotten the better of him more times than is worth remembering ahead of their Aviva Premiership semi-final.

That statistics paint an intriguing picture with Leicester unbeaten in their last 12 semi-finals in all competitions and having reached the Aviva Premiership final for the past eight years.

Defending champions Quins meanwhile have won their last three fixtures against the Tigers, including last year’s Premiership final, and triumphed on their previous two visits to Welford Road.

Leicesterwill welcome Quins after finishing second to their third with the Tigers victorious in four of the seven previous semi-final encounters in all competitions between the two.

However Williams points to a statistic of his own as to who has the upper hand with him on the pitch, with his personal record against Leicester since making his Quins debut in 2004 seven defeats, one draw and four wins.

“I have a selective amnesia against Leicester, in the years I have played for Quins I have only won against them four times,” said Williams.

“We have quite a good record against them in recent history but if you look back at it we haven’t won millions so we are not resting on our laurels.

“The intensity in training has gone up 100 per-cent and the guys are just looking forward to this game.

“We can’t focus too far into the future and think about finals. We have to think about Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.”

Leicester beat Quins 43-33 at the Stoop just weeks before the Aviva Premiership final last year, where they were to fall to a 30-23 defeat at Twickenham.

And, no matter what happens at Welford Road on Saturday, Tigers lock Geoff Parling admits the pain of last season’s final defeat will stay will him for the rest of his career.

“It was absolutely gutting. It was as bad as I have felt. It stayed with me all summer and will probably stay with me for the whole of my career,” said Parling.

“Now, we want to put it right. If I have learned a lesson from that game it is not to lose – because it feels very bad. The side that is the most tactically astute on Saturday will win.

“They off-load more than any other team but that style is built on the solid foundation of the good set-piece, a solid defence and working hard for each other.

“If they don’t have those foundations in place, then they can’t chuck it around and do what they want to. Our task is to stop them having the ball and doing what they want.

“We need to get good line speed, not give them kickable penalties and do our job up front. The home team usually wins semi-finals but you can largely put records out of the window. I think whoever turns up on the day will win.”

The Aviva Premiership Rugby final has sold out for the last five years. To snap up one of the remaining tickets go to ticketmaster.co.uk or call 0844 844 0444

Referee: Greg Garner (50th Premiership game)

Assistant Referees: Stuart Terheege & Gordon Goodliffe. TMO: Geoff Warren.
 

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