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Game-time helps long-term goals - Mauger

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Skipper Aaron Mauger believes the game-time gained by the squad in cup victory over Bath on Friday can have a massive part to play in the rest of the Leicester Tigers season.

Mauger started his first game since the Heineken Cup defeat against Clermont in December, while the starting line-up in a 27-11 victory over Bath also provided valuable playing time for the likes of Sam Vesty, Julian White, Joe Duffey, Ben Woods and Brett Deacon.

Lucas Amorosino, Billy Twelvetrees, Matt Smith and Harry Ellis also came through the game after lengthy injury absences.

“It’s very important for all the guys,” said Mauger, “and it’s huge for the club.

“We have five or six guys who had not played for a couple of months and a couple of us who had only been playing off the bench in the last few games, so it certainly helps to dust off a few cobwebs.

“We need as many of the players as possible fit and available for the rest of the season and it’s great for the players to get that time out on the pitch.”

Mauger was also impressed by the work of colleagues who took their opportunity to impress in the absence of some senior internationals.

“Guys like Calum Green and Billy Twelvetrees know the system, they train with us all week and they’ve been playing a bit of rugby out on loan at other clubs,” said Mauger.

“They pay attention in training and then just slot into the team nice and easily.”

Tigers moved to the top of Pool 1 with a bonus-point victory after scores by Twelvetrees (2), Alesana Tuilagi and a penalty try at a close-range scrum, though the game was not settled until the third try with just five minutes remaining.

“We tried to be ambitious and play the ball around and use the space,” said Mauger.

“For the first 20 minutes we dominated the game, but we just didn’t score any points. A few little things let us down and at times we were our own worst enemy. Take away the little errors and we can get some momentum and capitalise on opportunities.”