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Cockerill looking forward to Ospreys game

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Leicester Tigers are preparing to go to the Ospreys on Saturday with the lure of a home tie in the last eight of the Heineken Cup awaiting the winners, and forwards coach Richard Cockerill will be relishing the occasion.

With two big teams packed with international names, a big crowd and everything to play for in Pool 3, it promises to be an exciting afternoon at the Liberty Stadium.

“This is what the Heineken Cup is all about,” Cockerill says.

“There are good players all over the pitch on both sides. Leicester Tigers is a big name and Ospreys are a big name, both have quality squads and the match points are vital for both sides.

“We wanted to be in a position where we could still qualify going into the last game, and that is where we are now. Ospreys will be thinking the same thing and it will be a big occasion.

“When they came to Welford Road earlier in the season the scrummage was a great tussle, and they were very up for the contests in the scrum at Perpignan last week too. That makes for a great contest all round.

“They did very well in Perpignan, they stuck in there and they probably could have won it towards the end. We know how good Ospreys are, they are a tough team to play against.”

The two sides have met on the biggest stages on a number of occasions in recent years, in previous Heineken Cup pool ties and also in two successive EDF Energy Cup Finals at Twickenham.

“These are two big names, both trying to be successful and both looking to be involved in the biggest matches,” says Cockerill.

“For us, the expectation is always there, but that is what we all want. There is expectation from the media, the supporters, the players and the coaches. I want us to be in the quarter-final because I want the club to be successful.”

Tigers go into the final round of Pool 3 matches with 20 points from their five fixtures so far, while the Ospreys are on 16. Perpignan, who are on 13 points, travel to Benetton Treviso in the other match in the pool this Saturday. Both games kick off at 5.35pm.