“The guys who haven’t had as much of a chance bring a lot of enthusiasm into the group,” says Mauger, who has made seven appearances for Tigers since joining the club after the 2007 World Cup. “They’ll be fresh and ready to go so those guys will come out and show what they’ve got. They’re all part of the squad and they’re all good players and good enough to be there, so hopefully they’ll bring that enthusiasm with them on Saturday. Both teams will be affected by injuries and international duties so it should still be a level playing field in that respect.”
With Tigers now just four points behind Gloucester in the Guinness Premiership table, Mauger knows that a win could send his new club to the top of the standings for the first time this season. It’s a prospect that gives the All Black centre even greater motivation ahead of what promises to be a fascinating encounter.
“It’s always pretty exciting to play against teams that have set the bench mark during the year. They can play a power game but they’ve also got a good backline that can distribute to some fast wingers and outside backs. They’ve played well all year and they’ve been hard for most teams to stop. We’ll have to preview them well and nullify their strengths.
“The challenge will be there for us for the whole game so we’ll have to concentrate for the full 80 minutes. If we can knock them over, we’ll be up there alongside them on points so it’s a good opportunity for us and there’s a huge incentive for us to perform well this week.”