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Ben Kay predicts a tour classic at Welford Road

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World Cup winner Ben Kay is anticipating a huge contest when Leicester Tigers host Australia at Welford Road next Tuesday.

And Kay, who is now behind the microphone with ESPN after ending his playing career at Tigers in the summer, hopes the two teams and the crowd can match last year’s memorable evening against South Africa.

“It’s great that international matches on club grounds are happening again,” says Kay. “There was a worry that those days would be over, but the South Africa match last year was a great success. I’m so glad it was too because the tour match has returned and it’s become something to look forward to.

“It’s not just about international sides playing Test matches, and that being it.

“The atmosphere was fantastic last year for the South Africa match and it’s great to see that.”

Kay enjoyed two of the biggest games of a momentous career against the Wallabies, first in the final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup and then in the quarter-final four years later when England recovered from a rocky start to the tournament to knock out one of the favourites.

“I actually think they get the balance right in Australia,” he says. “New Zealand and South Africa have their own strengths, but Australian teams always have an intelligence about them. They always find their way of doing things and they do well without the resources of their southern hemisphere rivals.

“The win over the All Blacks last weekend will give them a bit of belief too. Winning at the end of that series was a great way to start their tour to Europe, it gives them something to build on, a bit like England’s win in Sydney in the summer.

“I actually think Australia are a much better side now than they were in 2003 when they got all the way to the World Cup Final.”

Tigers host the touring Australians on Tuesday, kick-off is at 7.30pm at Welford Road and tickets are available now.

Phone the ticket hotline on 0844 856 1880, book online by clicking here or call in at the ticket office (open until 8.30am-8pm Wednesday, 8.30am-5pm all other weekdays and from 9am on Saturday).