Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Competition a big plus for Cornwell

Figure image
Matt Cornwell starts at inside centre for Tigers against Bath Rugby on Saturday, knowing that competition for the No.12 and No.13 shirts is only going to get tougher now that the World Cup has reached its conclusion.

Dan Hipkiss will soon be back in the mix following his exploits with England, while Aaron Mauger joins Tigers on December 1 when his contract with the NZRFU comes to an end. Add those two internationals to Cornwell, Ollie Smith, Sam Vesty, Tom Youngs and Ayoola Erinle and you have one of the most competitive positions in the club.

“Competition can only be good for the squad,” says Cornwell. “We’ve got three big competitions we’re in again this year and we want to do well in every single one of them. We strengthened the squad in the summer and that can only be good for the club. Hopefully I can be part of that for the whole season.”

The trip to Bath will be Cornwell’s sixth first-team appearance in 2007/08 and the former England U-21 captain sees both positives and negatives in the season so far.

“It’s been a mixed bag. The usual beginning of the season jitters have been there a little bit but, as a squad, we’re very happy to be where we are. There’s been positives: we’ve won four out of six and, sometimes, we’ve played really well. I don’t think many people would have backed us to do so well with the guys away. They’re coming back after a good World Cup now and they’re all raring to go again.

“You carry such a reputation playing for Leicester. We’ve come in after a couple of games not feeling very happy even though we’ve ground out a result. That’s a sign of a good club and a club that strives for success every time they play. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Everybody who comes into the squad knows what’s expected of them. Leicester have such high standards and everyone strives for the perfect game.”