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It's the toughest place we could go - Cockerill

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Leicester Tigers are braced for an "enormous challenge" in the Stade Marcel Michelin in Clermont on Saturday.

Hosts ASM Clermont Auvergne are in the last eight of the Heineken Cup for a fourth time in five years, while Tigers are in the knockout rounds for a fourth time in six seasons and a 12th time in the competition’s history.

Clermont are also unbeaten in 74 games at their home stadium in all competitions.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill, who spent two years with the French club as a player a decade ago, says: “It is probably the toughest place we could go in the quarter-final, but that is our fault because we didn’t beat Ulster to top the pool.

“Lots of good sides have been there and got nothing, and they will raise their game because it is the Heineken Cup quarter-final at home against the English champions.

“Clermont have a very good squad and they are very consistent. The noise and atmosphere for an 18,000-capacity stadium is enormous.

“But if you want to win big tournaments these are the games and these are the places you have to go and win.

“We’re going to have to be as good as we can possibly be, and we’re going with a mindset that it is a great opportunity and an enormous challenge in the quarter-final of Europe.

"We’ve played some good rugby in the last few weeks. We have to go and play our game and have a crack at them.”

Tigers won 40-27 on their first Heineken Cup visit to Clermont in 2005-06, with Tom Varndell claiming four of the tries. Tigers, though, lost on two subsequent visits in the pool stages, in 2009/10 and 2011/12.