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Preview: Leicester Tigers v London Irish

Preview: Leicester Tigers v London Irish

Dan Cole insists he’s focused on the job in hand as he bids to cap a memorable week by rubber-stamping a home Aviva Premiership semi-final for Leicester Tigers this weekend.

Front row Cole and his Tigers teammates know victory over London Irish on Saturday will take them a step closer to winning the Race to Twickenham as they seek yet another appearance in an Aviva Premiership final, at Twickenham on May 25.

The Tigers would already be home and hosed in their pursuit of a top-two place had they not suffered the narrowest of defeats last time out – going down to Bath Rugby by a single point.

And now they must see off a resurgent London Irish side, who will be looking to end what has been a frustrating season on a high note at Welford Road.

But Cole, who this week was named in the British & Irish Lions squad along with five other Tigers, is adamant his side will be ready for Exiles this weekend.

“We need a win against London Irish to confirm a home semi-final and that is what we will be going out to do,” said Cole.

“It is all about keeping momentum and confidence high heading into the play-offs so we want to finish with a flourish against London Irish.

“They have nothing to play for so they will be relaxed and that means they will play an open game and will attack us as they will want to finish on a high.

“But we are ready for that and won’t be taking it lightly at all.”

Irish meanwhile, are bidding for what would be only their second Aviva Premiership away win of the season, having pulled clear of danger at the foot of the table thanks to four victories and a draw in their last five matches at the Madejski Stadium.

And hooker David Paice is determined to see Irish end their campaign on a high.

“It’s a bit of a tough one to answer really, it’s been the story of the season and we’ve had a few chats about our away form and why it’s not the same as at home,” he added.

“We’ve proved what we can do at home, especially in the last few weeks, we’ve been taking out our frustration on what was a bit of a sticky patch in the middle.

“Hopefully we can put that right against Leicester at the weekend but we’re under no illusions as to the size of that task.”

Referee: Luke Pearce (14th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Kevin Stewart & Andrew Watson.

Welford Road

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