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Buckland steps up as forwards impress

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James Buckland gained a last-minute call-up from the bench to start against Saracens and played a full part in an impressive performance from the Leicester Tigers forwards. When George Chuter was ruled out by injury on the day of the game, Buckland swapped the No.16 shirt for a place in the front row, and made the most of his unexpected opportunity.

"George had a back problem, but I have never known him miss a game for Leicester through injury. He is a very resilient guy," said Buckland after his fifth Guinness Premiership start of the season.

"Once the decision was made though, I was ready and you quickly get switched on to start the game. I started against London Irish on Boxing Day so I was a bit tired by the end of the Sarries game, but we did well and it was a good win. Saracens give us a good game down at their place in the autumn and they will have taken confidence from that day. They played some good rugby early on.

"But we are happy with the four tries and maximum points, though the game was probably closer than the scoreline suggests."

At the root of some of Tigers' most impressive efforts was a top-notch display of driving from the forwards, in all areas of the field.

"At Leicester we pride ourselves on our driving play and it has not worked as well as we would have liked in recent weeks," said Buckland. "But we got plenty of yards from the drives today, Ben Kay scored a try from a drive, which was very satisfying, and we did well in our tight play all over the pitch."