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Burns welcomes international contingent

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Freddie Burns says it will be great to welcome back Leicester Tigers' international contingent when the Aviva Premiership campaign resumes against Exeter Chiefs.England internationals Dan Cole, Geoff Parling and Ben and Tom Youngs, and Italy’s Leonardo Ghiraldini, Michele Rizzo and Robert Barbieri returned to Oval Park this week after playing for their countries in the last round of RBS 6 Nations fixtures.   Burns says it is a massive boost to have the internationals return to the squad as Tigers prepare for their final five games of the league campaign, starting against Exeter at Welford Road on Saturday (3pm).   “I thought Ben Youngs was outstanding on Saturday,” said Burns. “He stood out in what was a great England performance. It will be good to have him back, and all the other guys.   “It’s a massive push now, fighting for the Leicester cause and trying to get into that top four and hopefully the top two for a home semi-final.   “It’s a big push but to have those boys back gives us a massive boost.”   Welford Road is set to welcome a capacity 24,000 crowd for Saturday’s game, which could have a big impact on the race for a play-off place. Tigers are two points behind second-placed Exeter and could leapfrog their opponents in the Aviva Premiership table with victory.   And Burns says the Welford Road support could play a significant part in the game.   “Being on our home ground makes a huge difference,” says the Tigers fly-half. “Our performances at home have generally been better than they have away, and that’s the same with most teams, but you get out there in front of 24,000 people at Welford Road and it’s a special place to play.   “It definitely lifts the players.”   The last few match tickets are now on sale via the Tigers ticket office. Call 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or click here. Or click here to check StubHub for tickets listed by season ticket holders who cannot attend the game.