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Mefin Davies praises all things Tigers

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Summer signing Mefin Davies has nothing but praise for his new club as he gets ready to make his Tigers debut against Cornish Pirates this Saturday.

The 34-year-old Welsh international joined last season's double-winners from Premiership rivals Gloucester earlier in the summer and has since been working hard as he settles into his new surroundings. Davies believes those surroundings will help set Tigers apart from their opponents as they go in search of more silverware in 2007/08.

"The environment is a very good one," says the former Dunvant, Neath, Pontypridd, Celtic Warriors and Ospreys star. "Every club you go to there's a gym and training facilities but here the pitches are in A1 condition, the gym is rugby-specific and there's so many conditioning staff that the amount of detail is huge. There's also so many physio staff available if there's any part of your body that needs working on. Everything is here so there's no reason why you can't improve as a player."

As well as being impressed with the facilities on offer, Davies also talked favourably about both the recent training tour to Poland and the opportunities on offer for new players like himself.

"It was a fantastic training camp. You wouldn't believe the sports facilities they have over there. Eastern Europe is based upon wrestlers and weightlifting guys so we had the benefit of those facilities. The cryotheraphy treatment was something that I'd never experienced before and it was good for someone like me who's done a lot of other things to try something different. The tour was very intense in terms of the conditioning side of things and it was a great experience. Training's been hard but good and that's been the important factor. Everybody trains hard here and there's a good mentality. The work ethic is very, very high and now it's just a matter of getting hungry to play rugby really.

"In 2003, I was involved with the World Cup, whereas this year I'm involved with a club and I understand the strength in depth Leicester have got. There's a fantastic squad with a lot of new players and the World Cup creates an opportunity for those players. The important factor for the players who are here at the moment is to try to make a mark and help Leicester to start the season very well."

The chance to make an impression on the pitch starts this weekend when Davies and his new team-mates travel to Camborne to take on National One outfit Cornish Pirates in Tigers' first pre-season fixture. It's a challenge and an opportunity the 2005 Grand Slam winner is looking forward to.

"I've got a friend from Gloucester last year, Rob Elloway, who's a hooker who's with Pirates at the moment so it will be good to play against him. They're a good side - they played at Twickenham last year and they want to win their league as well, so it's a great match for both sides really. We want to get the conditioning out of it but it'll be a tough one and they'll be coming at us at 100mph. These pre-season games are part of our conditioning as well as helping us get used to certain calls and getting familiarised with a lot of new players, so there should be a lot of positives to be taken out of them."