A final pool game in the European Challenge Cup serves as the perfect chance for Leicester Tigers to ‘refine our game’, according to Kyle Eastmond.
The Leicester squad travel to Pau for Round 6 this Saturday (January 18) having already secured a quarter-final place in the competition, though will be gunning to secure a home tie in the last eight.
“We’ve just been refining our game a little bit,” explained the centre, when asked about Tigers’ run of five wins in five European games this season.
“We’ve just been concentrating a little bit more on the ‘basics’ side of things – it’s not exactly like we haven’t been doing that anyway, but we’ve probably emphasised it a little bit more.
“Ever since the first half against Exeter [in the Premiership], the team really put in a good performance in there, and that’s key for us – the performance side of things, and the results will take care of themselves.”
“We recognise that going over and playing Pau is going to be a difficult game.”Kyle Eastmond
Along with serving as welcome respite from the grind of the Gallagher Premiership, the Challenge Cup has also allowed head coach Geordan Murphy to give opportunities to players from the wider squad, including those fighting up through the ranks from the Tigers Academy.
“We’ve got some great players who really want to be playing, and rightly so,” Eastmond continued. “You can do as much training as you want, but it’s nothing like a game, so it’s always good to get everyone involved in the season.
“I think [this competition] gives the opportunity to use your squad, though we recognise that going over and playing Pau is going to be a difficult game this weekend.”
Those players are likely to be called on again in the coming weeks, with a number of Tigers players expected to be called up to their national squads for the Six Nations.
Eastmond added: “This is the time where we really have to get those results in, because there will still be a lot of great players here, too.
“Hopefully we can take advantage of this period. Last season, we didn’t take advantage of it at all, but this season we can.
“Let’s get a good win this weekend away at Pau and then let’s really look at the Premiership games coming up and target as many points as we can.”