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Preview: Leicester Tigers v London Irish

Preview: Leicester Tigers v London Irish

Jamie Gibson insists he knows all about the threat that London Irish pose, having been one of them this time last season.

Leicester Tigers will be itching to set the record straight when they host the Exiles at Welford Road on Saturday, having gone their last three league clashes without picking up a victory.

The Tigers have not gone four games without a win in the league for a decade but the omens are not good with their last five Aviva Premiership defeats at Welford Road all being at the hands of London-based clubs.

However as they look to buck that trend they could have a secret weapon in the form of Gibson, who swapped London Irish for the Tigers in the summer.

And although the back rower knows exactly where his new allegiances lie, he still remembers the threat the club from the capital could face.

“London Irish have the players that can change the game in an instance so we have to be wary of them,” he said,

“London Irish have enjoyed themselves down at Welford Road in the past few seasons, not quite getting the victories but have run Leicester close.

“And having just moved on their will be some friendly faces I will be looking forward to seeing again.

“But that also means that I know the threat they pose and whether it be their front row, their back three or anywhere really, they have great players that can hurt you if you are not careful.”

London Irish are also in somewhat of a tailspin as they have lost their last four games in all competitions.

The Exiles have also won just once on the road in 2013 and have not beaten Leicester since October 2009, with their only previous victory at Welford Road coming more than a decade ago.

Although London Irish’s Topsy Ojo is relishing the challenge of changing all that on Saturday.

“It’s good to have a good personal strike rate up at Leicester but as a team we just need the result to top it off,” Ojo said.

“They have tended to be quite close encounters the last few years, I think we drew one of them. 

“We need to continue to give a good account of ourselves. With where we are, we do need to get back on track. 

“If I get an opportunity to add to my try tally against them then all the better.

“Leicester are very formidable at home, although they have probably had a worse injury list than ours although a few of the England guys will be back.

“You can’t think about who is missing through injury, you play the team that is out on the pitch. 

“They will be looking to bounce back after the last couple of results they have had in the league and it’s always a tough game against Leicester.”

Referee: Martin Fox (96th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle & Nigel Carrick. TMO: Trevor Fisher.

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