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Flood thrilled by the Tigers supporters

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New signing Toby Flood has called on Leicester Tigers fans to act as the 16th man against London Irish in the opening home game of the season.

Flood enjoyed a taste of the Welford Road atmosphere when he helped Tigers to a 48-7 win over Western Force in the final pre-season game in front of more than 12,000 supporters.

The England international, who joined from Newcastle Falcons during the summer, described the Tigers fans as “fantastic” and revealed the impact they have on the team.

And Flood, who is equally at home at fly-half or centre, has urged more of the same when Tigers make their first home appearance of the Guinness Premiership season against London Irish on Saturday, September 13.

Flood, 23, said: “The fans here are fantastic. You have an appreciation when you play against Leicester of what the fans feel like but you really don’t understand what they mean to the team until you actually put on that shirt. They do become that 16th man. They are fantastic.

“Just walking through the tunnel before the game you can literally hear the feet on the floor in the stand. It almost feels gladiatorial when you are coming out there.

“Welford Road is a great place to play. I really enjoy it.

“Come the first home game of the season against London Irish, hopefully it will be a full house and we put up a performance that the fans deserve.

“It’s the best-supported club in the northern hemisphere. It is the ultimate experience to pull on that Tigers shirt and come out, knowing you are representing the history of the club.”

Tickets are available for the first Guinness Premiership home game of the season against London Irish at Welford Road on Saturday, September 13 (3pm kick-off). Contact Tigers ticket office on 08701 28 34 30, book online or call in at Welford Road.

Before the arrival of London Irish, Tigers open the league season with a trip to Gloucester Rugby on Sunday, September 7.