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LTTV: Wilks previews Academy’s Grand Final showdown

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Leicester Tigers Academy Manager Dave Wilks sits down with LTTV to discuss the season so far, as well as a preview of this weekend’s Under-18 Academy League Grand Final.

“It’s an exciting prospect,” he said. “We’re in [the final], and we’ve done well.”

Having topped their northern conference, Tigers will take on the southern section’s top seeds Gloucester on Finals Day at Allianz Park this Sunday, 17 February.

The match is a repeat of last year’s showpiece, where Tigers recorded a 43-21 victory over the Cherry and Whites.

He continued: “They’re two clubs that are well-coached. There’s a fair bit of crossover from last year from our side, and there’s a few names [for Gloucester] that I recognise on the team sheet from last year.

“For us, it doesn’t really matter who we play in the final. You want to play the best team and you want a good contest, which I’m sure we’ll get.”

But Wilks – who works alongside head coach Jamie Taylor, backs coach Matt Smith and scrum coach Tom Harrison – explained a chance of silverware hasn’t affected the team’s preparation this week.

“It doesn’t change being a grand final week,” he said. “We trained last night, we’ll have a team run on Friday and we’ll go down on Sunday and we’ll do our very best.

“It has a bit of heightened tension. But when you get out on the pitch on Saturday it’s all about winning, and you want those lads to get out on the pitch and do all that they can to win.”

You can follow live coverage of the U18 Academy League this Sunday (February 17) on Twitter.

Watch the full interview with Wilks below on LTTV.