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Changes pay off with second Tigers win

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Richard Cockerill paid tribute to the Leicester Tigers squad after a second win inside five days moved them into the top four of the Aviva Premiership table.

Tigers claimed a 28-23 victory over Sale Sharks in front of a 23,000-strong Welford Road crowd on New Year’s Day to leapfrog their opponents and reach the top four for the first time this season.

“It’s a tight turnaround after the game at Worcester on Tuesday and with all the changes in the team this is a good win,” said Tigers director of rugby Cockerill after the team scored three tries in the victory over Sale.

“We played well but also let them back into the game after we were 17-0 in front and we obviously need to control that better.

“But it was a good performance. There were some inexperienced guys and combinations in that team and they had to cope with the pressure of that. We got caught out occasionally but we will all learn from it.

“Sale are a good side and that is how they were able to get themselves back into it. They were above us in the table before the game and now we’re above them.

“We’ve had two games in five days and taken nine points, and that is a decent return.”

Cockerill reported no real injury concerns from Sunday, with the knocks suffered by Martin Castrogiovanni and Julian Salvi not considered serious.

Anthony Allen, Geoff Parling and Marcos Ayerza are approaching full fitness after injury, while the club are still looking at the injuries suffered by Manu Tuilagi and Louis Deacon in the win at Worcester last week.

“We’ll assess the fall-out from this game and then look at Wasps,” Cockerill added.

“We’re not going badly but we’re only halfway through the season. We’ll have a closer look at today, we’ll be hard on ourselves and then we’ll get back down to it and prepare for next weekend.”

Tigers host London Wasps at Welford Road in Round 13 of the Aviva Premiership Rugby season on Saturday (kick-off 5pm). Tickets are available now. Phone the Tigers hotline on 0844 856 1880 or call in at the ticket office (open 8.30am-5pm all week, until 8pm Wednesday and from 9am on matchday). Or book at the Tigers Club Store in Market Street, Leicester.

Or book online any time.