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Rugby News

Porter pleased with Prem ‘physical edge’

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Leicester Tigers centre Guy Porter has described the excitement of building on the club’s improving form with another stern test against Wasps on Wednesday.

After showing glimpses of the team's clinical edge in fightbacks against Sale Sharks and Gloucester in the last two matches – and a midweek win over London Irish in game prior – the Tigers squad know they must put in an 80-minute performance if they are to take anything from the Ricoh Arena on Wednesday.

“[The Premiership] is a really physical brand of rugby. There’s no escaping that,” he said.

“But I’m really enjoying being in the centres and the added physicality. As a centre the onus is on you to set the advantage line either in defence or in attack, and I really enjoy being in that fight.

“That physical edge was no surprise, but it certainly gets some getting used to. I’ve been really pleased to be in an environment like this where you’ve got classy guys around you who have been there, done that.”

And after making his club debut against Bath in the No13 shirt, Porter was also offered a taste of the inside channel when head coach Steve Borthwick shuffled the backline against Gloucester in Round 17.

The 23-year-old explained how the experience of playing alongside an international half-back pairing of Ben Youngs and George Ford offered invaluable experience.

“One of the things I enjoy about being in the centres is that it’s such a high-pressured position in defence,” he continued.

“You’re in that physical battle in the tight but you’ve also got to be able to cover those quicker guys and those elusive guys out wide.

“We’ve been building on our defensive system in recent weeks because it requires everyone on the same page and a big part of that is time in the saddle.

“In that Gloucester second half, it was a great experience to be at 12 outside Lenny and Fordy because I learned a lot from the level of control they brought to the game and the influence they had, and that’s been really positive for me.”

Tigers now head to Coventry in Round 19 of the resumed league season looking to back up a home win over their old foes in the reverse fixture back in February.

Porter added: “They’re obviously another high-quality team, and that’s the nature of the competition at the moment.

“There wasn’t much time to dwell on the result from the weekend [against Sale] because we’ve had to turn around pretty quickly.

“But we’ll be going there to win and to build on the lessons from the last couple of weeks.”