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Rugby News

Clare can't wait to welcome Tigers fans back

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Leicester Tigers hooker Charlie Clare talks fans, mauls and tries after a Man of the Match performance in the European win over Connacht at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Two tries, a Man of the Match award and place in the Quarter-Finals of the Challenge Cup.

It was a night to remember for Leicester Tigers hooker Charlie Clare.

However, speaking post-match, the front-rower admitted there was something missing.

“We were all really excited to come and play under lights at Mattioli Woods Welford Road tonight,” said Clare.

“But, it would be even better if there was a crowd in tonight. It would have been great to share this one with the Tigers supporters.”

As lockdown restrictions ease across the country and the roadmap for a return to normality - whatever that may be - begins to be paved, sports fans in the United Kingdom are cautiously awaiting news for how, when and where they might be able to be back among their fellow supporters at sporting venues. 

"We’re working hard on it every week and seeing rewards but, it’s not perfect and we need to keep improving, keep building it."

For now, unfortunately from the sofa, Tigers fans are subjected to cheering on from the sofa.

And, unsurprisingly, they’re doing so with the same passion and commitment which has made Mattioli Woods Welford Road the most-attended club rugby venue for several seasons and the team, the most well-supported side on the road across England and Europe. 

One thing fans are certainly enjoying is the performance of the Leicester maul and the fact front-rowers - including Clare, Youngs and Montoya - are sitting pretty atop the Tigers try-scorers tally. 

However, modest to a fault, Clare says it’s down to a team-effort.

“Our maul is definitely something we pride ourselves on,” admitted the hooker.

“We’re working hard on it every week and seeing rewards but, it’s not perfect and we need to keep improving, keep building it."

As for the tries, Clare plays a straight bat.

“I’m just lucky enough to be at the back of it, it’s certainly a team-effort … a forwards effort, although some backs find their way in there every now and then!” 

On the win over Connacht, the 29-year-old, points towards the team once again.

“Credit to our boys tonight, we had a younger side out and stuck together,” said Clare.

“We managed to grind out the win against a very good Connacht side, who are capable of anything and were good tonight.

“We will enjoy the win and then get to work next week for the next game.”