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Henry eyes first taste of Derby Day

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While Leicester Tigers’ international fly-half George Ford will not be running out at Welford Road on Sunday, he’ll still have made his mark on the game, according to starting No10 Zack Henry.

The England fly-half misses Tigers’ Derby Day clash with Northampton Saints on Sunday (September 13, 2.00pm) through injury, though understudy Henry described how Ford has been lending his invaluable support.

“We’ve got the England No10 at the club,” Henry said, when asked how he has prepared to take the reins alongside 250-match milestone man Ben Youngs.

“George has been helping me with certain things like game management, and we’ve been looking at how we want to execute our game plan.

“We’ve got a great support network.”

Brighton-born Henry also spoke about the magic of a Derby Day clash and how the Tigers-Saints rivalry reaches far beyond England’s shores.

“Even when I was in France, there were times when I couldn’t really catch up with the rugby in England but the Leicester-Northampton game always made its way across the channel,” he said.

“Everyone knows it’s a big old derby. There’s some bad blood – or should I say sporting bad blood – that everyone loves to see, and I know it’s a massive game.

“Everyone here knows it’s a massive game. I’m looking forward to being involved and playing my part for this club.”

But the 25-year-old acknowledged that preparation cannot just be talk – the squad must translate it onto the Welford Road pitch come 2.00pm on Sunday afternoon.

Henry continued: “We’ve looked at all areas of our game, and recognise that it has to be an 80-minute performance.

“Even with these short turnarounds we’ve been able to prepare well. There are a lot of walk-throughs, meetings, but we will try to get a field session in when we can as well.

“The boys are really energised and we know what to expect on Sunday.

“We’ve got to be on it for 80 minutes and that’s what we’re targeting – we want to put out a real 80-minute performance of high energy and high intensity that we can be proud of.”