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Blaze 'honoured' to be a new Tiger

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Richard Blaze said he felt "honoured" to get his first appearance under his belt in a Leicester Tigers shirt in the win over Cornish Pirates on Saturday.

The England Saxons lock played the second half as coach Richard Cockerill gave a run-out to the whole of the travelling squad at Camborne.

"I was looking forward to getting that first game for the club," said Blaze. "Training has been going well but it was nice to get a chance to take it out on opposition rather than each other!

"It is a great honour to play for a club with a reputation likes Leicester's and, although they are only warm-up games, people are already staking claims for the opening games of the Guinness Premiership season."

Tigers enjoyed a competitive contest, which remained tight until the closing stages when Tom Varndell ran in two tries and Tigers stretched their advantage to win 57-28 in front of a large crowd in the Cornish sunshine.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game and there is still a lot to work on," said Blaze who arrived at Tigers in the summer after a switch from Worcester Warriors. "The main thing was the run-out for the players, though it was nice to win as well. Now we will go away and have a look at the areas we need to work on and then look forward to another game at Bedford next weekend."

Coach Cockerill was satisfied that he was able to give the squad some game-time, and that there were no further injuries with so many players on international duty in preparation for the World Cup.

"It was a good win, though the scoreline flattered us a bit in the end," he said. "The attitude of the players was fantastic and it was a good exercise."

Owen Finegan had the honour of leading out the team for the first action of the summer and said: "Everyone got 40 minutes and the Pirates were right in the game for a long time so it was a good start for us."