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Internationals driving higher standards, says Bakewell

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Mark Bakewell chats to LTTV ahead of Friday night's final pre-season fixture before the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership gets underway on Saturday, September 1 away to Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.

The Tigers forwards coach, who is coming to the end of his first pre-season with the club after joining over the Christmas period last year, says the focus is very much on the opening weekend of this year's Premiership but nobody will be 'underestimating' the challenge of The Exiles at Welford Road.

"We won't underestimate the challenge London Irish will bring," he said.

"It's about the integration of our internationals ... and building a platform where we can make a genuine assessment leading in to Exeter."

As well as Friday's return to Welford Road, Bakewell also discusses last week's loss to Benetton Rugby in Treviso and dissects where it went wrong for the Tigers side.

"It's not complicated, we need to be better at the basics," he said.

"We fed them and that's what you can't do."

Looking at the year ahead, with an eye on what needed improving on from last season, the forwards coach was confident the inclusion of several internationals over the past month had helped lift the standards within the Tigers squad and would help continue improvements made over the pre-season schedule in the final hit out before the Premiership gets underway.

How will that happen?

Bakewell has a simple, hard-lined approach to make it happen.

"We need to be harder on one another to ensure we get a better standard of what we are doing," said Bakewell.

"Keeping it simple has been the theme for us this pre-season."

See the full interview with Bakewell below or click here for chats with club captain Tom Youngs and England fly-half George Ford ahead of the Friday night fixture against London Irish.

Entry to the first Welford Road game of the new season, against London Irish on Friday night, is included with a 2018/19 Tigers Season Ticket. Explore the offerings and find the best fit for you online at LeicesterTigers.com/seasontickets