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Hipkiss looking to push on

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Having been absent from the EDF Energy tie at Worcester last weekend, Tigers centre Dan Hipkiss is looking forward to pushing his claims ahead of a pivotal month in the club's season.

Hipkiss has recovered from the minor groin strain which saw him sidelined for the victory at Sixways and will now hope to be involved in the Guinness Premiership match at Northampton and the European encounters with Munster and Cardiff Blues.

"I'd played a part in all of the first five matches of the season, so in a way, my body was telling me it was time for a rest," said Hipkiss. "I picked up a slight groin strain that needed time to sort itself out, so I was forced to miss out on the trip to Worcester. It's feeling a lot better now though and I'm definitely looking forward to getting back in the mix and pushing hard for selection."

The 24-year-old England Sevens international kept Tigers' 2005/06 Heineken Cup dreams alive with two memorable tries in the matches with the Ospreys in Swansea and Stade Francais at Welford Road. However, despite making an impression with his powerful running and quick feet, injury robbed Hipkiss of the chance of pressing for a place in the Guinness Premiership showdown with Sale in May.

"I was disappointed to miss out towards the end of last year, but I got injured just at the wrong time during the Guinness A League Final. I'm hoping that I can push on this year, but  there's a great deal of competition for places in the centres, and that can only be a good thing for the club. Ollie's back and playing really well and Gibbo was in great form on Saturday. Matt Cornwell's being impressing, Matt Smith did well early on, and then there's the likes of Seru and Leon, so it's certainly a tough position to play. I was happy to get a decent run in the side at the start of the season, and hopefully now the groin's recovered, I can work hard to keep that going."