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Preview: Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors

Preview: Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors

Leicester Tigers have had to move on quickly from their European disappointment but Graham Kitchener believes securing an Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final is the best way to turn the page.

The Tigers went down 19-16 to Racing 92 on Sunday in their European Champions Cup semi-final, a late Telusa Veainu try not quite enough to sneak past the French giants.

Now Leicester face a tricky home clash against Worcester Warriors, but know that victory will guarantee them a place in the top four and a semi-final for the twelfth straight season.

It won’t be easy though, with Worcester having pushed Tigers all the way in the earlier meeting between the sides, leading 17-0 before a comeback from the visitors.

And Kitchener, a former Warrior, whose brother Andrew is in the academy at Sixways, is expecting another real battle.

“It’s been a bit tough after the week and we were obviously disappointed with the result against Racing,” he said.

“We just didn’t do ourselves justice in that one. But you have to move on and focus on the Premiership now.

“It’s going to be a tough game against Worcester who are a strong side. We had a really tough time against them at Sixways earlier in the season when they were leading 17-0.

“They also played very well against Wasps last time out and scored a lot of tries so we’ll have to be aware of that.

“My brother is there so it’s nice to have a link at the club still.”

Leicester have won their last 11 games against Worcester in Aviva Premiership Rugby since a 2008 defeat at Sixways.

And with Worcester never having won at Welford Road in 12 previous attempts, it will need a historic performance to deny Tigers.

But Georgian hooker Jaba Bregvadze believes that if his team can win the physical battle up front, they could buck the trend and make history.

He said: “Everyone knows Leicester are good in the drives and mauls so we will try and stop that first and do our best to turn it around.

“We know exactly what we will have to do.

“It will be a big battle for the front row but a good challenge for us – we want to be playing against the best sides.”

(Welford Road, 3pm)
Referee: Greg Garner (99th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Healy & Kevin Stewart.
TMO: David Rose.

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