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Important stepping stone on the way to kick-off

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Paul Burke described Saturday's trip to Jersey as "a good day in lots of ways" as Leicester Tigers approach the final run-in to the start of the new season.

Tigers ran in 11 tries, gave game-time to the bulk of the senior squad and came through without any injuries in the Channel Islands in the second game of the summer programme.

“We weren’t particularly pleased with the performance against Montpellier a fortnight ago, though it was the first game for us,” said backs coach Burke.

“But this was all about putting our systems in place, looking to the start of the Aviva Premiership season in two weeks.

“We’ve only got one more warm-up game and it was good to get 40 or 50 minutes of game-time into most of the guys here. It is another stepping stone for the start of the season.

“It was a good day for us in lots of ways. We got through a lot of detail in the five days we had at camp last week and we were able to bring some of it bring into the game today, though the windy conditions made that difficult at times and there are some areas to work on.”

Geoff Parling, Dan Cole, Tom Youngs and Tom Croft all came through their first game since returning from the triumphant British & Irish Lions tour, while club captain Toby Flood, Steve Mafi, Logovi’i Mulipola and Vereniki Goneva all returned to action.

Burke added: “We got four of the Lions boys back out there and they looked like they’d never been away. It is really important that the whole squad comes together now because we’re only got one more pre-season game. We’re still looking at combinations, looking at detail, looking at the competition for places.

“We swapped guys in and out because everyone has to be ready for the start of the league. We had a good camp last week coming into this game and we can see how the guys gelled together.

“There were no injuries, which is good news too, and Louis Deacon came back in for his first game in a long time. The plan was always to give him 40 minutes and he did very well for a first game back.”

As well as seeing the seniors settle back into the matchday squad, Tigers also gave match experience to some of the senior academy players, with Scott Steele, Perry Humphreys, George Catchpole and Henry Purdy all on the field in the second half.

“It was a very valuable exercise for those guys to get game-time with a lot of seasoned first-team players,” said Burke.

“It’s important for their development and they took their opportunity really well. They’ve been training with us and can that can only help their development as rugby players.”

Jersey welcomed a crowd of more than 3,600 for a second Tiger visit to the island, with several hundred travelling supporters alongside the locals.

“It’s been a good trip for us,” said Burke. “We love coming here, the supporters love coming here as well. It is a good break from the usual routine, we are well looked-after and people come out to support us which is great. We’ve enjoyed it.”