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Blues offer stern challenge for Corry and co

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Martin Corry returns to Welford Road this afternoon knowing that his Tigers side will have to be at their best if they are to defeat a Cardiff Blues XV brimming with confidence.

Dai Young’s side currently sit at the top of the Magners League and their EDF Energy Cup pool having recorded six wins from seven attempts so far this season. Last Friday night’s 32-15 victory over Sale Sharks demonstrated the dangers Tigers will face at Welford Road and Corry is under no illusions as to the size of the task ahead.

“I think Cardiff have been playing exceptionally well,” says Corry, who makes his first Tigers appearance since returning from the 2007 Rugby World Cup. “They know how to play a very fast, open game but they’ve also got a very good driving game, especially from lineouts.

“If we allow them to play, if we give them quick ball, then they can tear us up. They’ve got some very good runners out wide and through the centres and in Xavier Rush. If we give them the space then they can exploit that. It’s going to be a really tough game. We’ve got to go out and make sure we execute our game plan as best we can.”

While Corry was helping England reach the final of the World Cup in Paris, Tigers’ young guns were doing their best to ensure Richard Cockerill’s side were as well-placed as possible after the opening seven weeks of the season. Last year’s Double winners are in a promising position in the Guinness Premiership and are still in contention after the opening week of the EDF Energy Cup, and Corry is full of praise for the players who have done Tigers proud so far this season.

“The guys that have been playing have put their hands up and played some good rugby. That’s the great thing about coming back into this environment – everyone’s been playing well so the competitiveness in the squad is huge. That’s what you need. I can’t come back and expect a guaranteed place. We have to come back, start on the bottom rung and earn our place just like anybody else.

“Like with the World Cup, we’ve got to draw a line under last season. We’ve got to view this season as something completely unique. We know what we’re capable of and we’ve got to produce the goods. History has no part to play in that.”