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Mauger expecting tough Sale test

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Tigers centre Aaron Mauger and his Leicester team-mates are determined to record their 10th Guinness Premiership win of the season this Saturday, but the All Black playmaker knows it will be a far from simple task against a Sale side in impressive form.

“They’re a team on the rise,” says Mauger, who watched November’s EDF Energy Cup win against the same opposition from the stands at Welford Road before starting the 20-14 league defeat at Edgeley Park in December. “They’re sitting right on the edge of the play-off places and they’ve obviously got aspirations to be in the top four. If they beat us then they’ll be right up there with us, but if we can beat them then we’ll pull clear of them a little.

“They beat us up there just before Christmas so they’ve probably got a bit of a psychological advantage in that respect. We’re back at home, tough, and the boys will be keen to make amends after last Sunday’s loss at Irish. “

Mauger sat out that defeat at the Madejski Stadium due to a tight hamstring but he knows Tigers will have to improve if they want to keep up the pressure on league leaders Gloucester.

“We made a lot of errors against Irish and they punished us. The guys were very disappointed and we know that our standards are a lot higher than that. This Saturday is about getting back on track and making sure we play to those standards again.

“Particularly when we play at home, the games are so intense because teams really see it as a big challenge to come to Welford Road and knock us over. We’re always up for that challenge but we know it’s going to be a big battle. We’ve had a real focus on Sale this week and we’ve managed to put London Irish behind us. The guys are excited about getting back out there and righting a few wrongs.”