Thursday 18 January 2018

Leicester’s England stars not scarred by Aviva woe - Cockerill

David Kelly

David Kelly

Leicester coach Richard Cockerill has claimed that his English players are not frightened about returning to the scene of their Grand Slam humiliation against Ireland last month.

Five of the English side humbled in a 24-8 defeat to an Ireland side featuring nine members of the Leinster starting line-up will revisit the venue where their Grand Slam dreams crumbled in a disorganised and undisciplined heap.

"Human nature will dictate that they would like to go there and prove that they can play and do a good job, but it is a different scenario," said Cockerill ahead of this weekend's Heineken Cup quarter-final. "We'll see if psychologically it is a benefit or whether it is a detriment.

"It is a different team, different attitude and a different scenario, so I don't think it will have any effect on the way Ben Youngs or Toby Flood or Louis Deacon or Dan Cole will play.

"What they can take from the experience is they know what intensity to expect -- they are not going to get caught cold by the physicality or the atmosphere in the stadium. Hopefully, that is a benefit for us."

Leinster have lost just once in their last 16 home matches in the Heineken Cup, and beat the Tigers 19-16 in the final at Murrayfield two seasons ago.

However, the English league leaders did win at this stage at the same Lansdowne Road venue six years ago and remain the only side to beat Munster at Thomond Park in the competition. They have also won their last six Premiership matches away from Welford Road.

"We've been good away from home. I can't remember the last time we lost away from home," said Cockerill. "In the last two weeks we have been away from home and have had late kick-offs, so it's good preparation.

"You want to see as a club whether you have the mettle to go to these places and win. If you want to win this competition you've got to win these sorts of games."

Irish Independent

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