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Current Tigers creating own identity, says Bateman

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Greg Bateman says that while the Leicester players of today are in awe of the success achieved throughout the club’s history, their focus is on making a name for themselves and carving out their own place in the memories for Tigers fans young and old.

The club’s Player of the Month for February, as voted by supporters, was speaking in the lead up to the Aviva Premiership clash with Bath at Twickenham this Saturday as the Tigers look to make it five wins in a row.

“There has been lots of talk about the Leicester pack of old but we want make our mark as the Leicester pack of today,” said Bateman.

After a disappointing period over Christmas, which Bateman admitted included ‘stupid performances’ that have ‘let down’ the team and supporters, a revitalised Leicester side has gone unbeaten since the second week of February.

“We’ve had a couple of stupid performances this season that have let us all down,” he said.

However the front-rower says nothing has been achieved just yet and the current crop of Tigers players has high hopes for returning the club to winning ways.

“We haven’t earned the right to latch on to the history of Tigers,” said Bateman, before adding, “it’s a hugely successful club history-wise but, we haven’t done much in a while. It’s now up to us, within this group, to change that.”

One major factor in the revitalisation of the group, says Bateman, has been addressing the ‘simple things’ that help to achieve success on the pitch.

“What we’ve done is address the simple things,” he said.

“We’ve addressed our work rate, involvements in each game. It’s not one major thing, it’s those small things that are adding up.”

The Round 18, one-point win over Wasps in front of a sold-out Welford Road crowd has been talked about by pundits, supporters and even players as a potential match of the season so far, which the Tigers try-scoring front-rower admits was made even more special given the level of support from the historic stands.

“We are very fortunate to play at a club that has the supporters and support we do,” said a wide-grinning Bateman.

“We are a big club and the players are thankful to have a lot of people who pay money to come and watch us, so we want to get them involved in the game.

“There’s no better place to play in the country than Welford Road, when you have the whole Tigers Family behind you.”