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Mauger finds his feet in Leicester

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Aaron Mauger has traded the 33 degrees of a New Zealand summer for a wintry East Midlands but says he is looking forward to making his mark in his time with Leicester Tigers.

The All Blacks centre has arrived in Leicester at the start of his contract following his move from Crusaders in the Super 14 Championship.

Asked about his move to Tigers, the 27-year-old said: “It has certainly been a bit different, I turned up and had to put some warmer clothes on!

“I have been with Canterbury, the Crusaders and then the All Blacks from 1999 and I wanted to do something different. I wanted a new challenge, to try different competitions, a different style of rugby and visit different grounds, and also give myself the challenge of proving myself to different bunch of people.”

Mauger revealed he had done some research on Tigers before agreeing to the move.

“I talked to a few people before I made the decision to come here,” he said. “My brother Nathan was at Gloucester a few years ago, Andrew Mehrtens has been in England for the last few years and obviously Daryl Gibson at Leicester who talked about how things are done. It was a pretty easy decision in the end.

“Leicester seems pretty similar to Canterbury in many ways, with a proud tradition and a proud history of rugby. I see myself fitting in pretty well.

“I will give everything for the club. I am here to play the best I can and to enjoy my rugby.

“There is a lot of class in the Leicester squad, a lot of international players and I am looking forward to being able to play here.”

Tigers head coach Marcelo Loffreda, the club’s other high-profile arrival from overseas following the 2007 World Cup, welcomed Mauger at a press conference and said: “Aaron is one of the best No12s in world rugby, he has a lot of experience at the highest level.

“He is an exceptional, top-class player. I think he will fit in well at Leicester because he is a talented and intelligent player.”