Coming off a fierce double header with Montpellier in the Heineken Cup, Leicester Tigers flanker Jamie Gibson is relishing another titanic tussle in the form of Saracens on Saturday.
The Aviva Premiership makes its long-awaited return following the European break and a Tigers and Sarries duel is sure to whet the appetite.
The omens however make grim reading for Richard Cockerill’s men as since moving to Allianz Park in February, Saracens have lost just once in 14 home games.
But Leicester are on a strong run themselves – having won their last six games in all tournaments – and Gibson is sure his side can carry on in the same vein as their European adventures.
“The way the games go it never gets any easier, no side wants to a lose a game and especially at home if you are a team like Saracens,” he said.
“But we’re coming off some great games in the Heineken Cup and it is a chance to put a marker down for the rest of the Premiership.
“The intensity for them against Zebre may not have been as much as we faced against Montpellier.
“But we’ve had some good games so we know what to expect whereas they may need to raise their game a little bit.
“And it was great for me as I’d never played in the Heineken Cup quite against that level of opposition before.
“It’s an experience you can learn and grow from and I can hopefully immediately carry it forward to Saracens.
“Montpellier have got a strong squad and big international players all over the park just like Sarries so it’s similar competition.”
The fixture marks the Tigers’ first-ever run-out at Allianz Park, with their last victory over Saracens coming in the 2012 Aviva Premiership semi-final at Welford Road.
And though Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens are currently peering down at fifth-placed Leicester, full-back Ben Ransom does not plan to take the Tigers lightly.
“Confidence is high in the camp but obviously Leicester this weekend will be a really tough test for us,” he said.
“So the guys have been working hard in training this week trying to get the details right for the weekend.
“They are not flying as such, to their own standards, but any time you play Leicester it’s going to be a tough test.
“They have got a great squad so no matter who they put out it is going to be a tough ask, especially over the past few years.”
Referee: Wayne Barnes (128th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Andy Watson & Robin Goodliffe. TMO: Graham Hughes.