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Rugby News

Borthwick previews Premiership opener

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Steve Borthwick says the focus at Leicester Tigers is simple. Let’s get better, together.

Speaking in the build-up to the club’s Gallagher Premiership opener, away to Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, the Head Coach chatted about the new faces in his squad and the ongoing search for improved cohesion among the players – new and old.

“There is always that balance in terms of cohesion,” said Borthwick.

“Players are signed from elsewhere and you bring Academy players through into the senior squad as well, which effectively means you have an entirely new group.

“Add to that the international players and their staggered returns, which requires a lot of work to be done in the best way.

“In addition to what is new, you also look at what you do well and did well last season and then how you can make that even better plus what you want to add to your game.

“If you chose just one of those things it is a dangerous game and if you try to do too much it is dangerous. It is always that matter of what is it that you exactly have to focus on and when.”

Asked for specifics on what he is looking to improve and add to the Leicester game plan, ahead of the league opener, Borthwick admitted it was a succinct, clear goal.

“What we are aiming to do at Leicester Tigers is to get better,” he said.

“The way you play is guided by a few things – which includes your club heritage and history alongside the current strengths in the group here now.

“We have a new dynamic, which players from last season and the new players have all helped create and will continue to build – together – throughout the season.

Looking ahead to the 22/23 Premiership campaign, Borthwick expects the close competition to continue.

“It was pretty tight last season,” he said.

“While we saw some big score lines, on occasional weeks, sometimes those teams were back and winning a week later.

“Every single weekend you know you have to play well because every team is capable of beating the other team.

“This season, there are new coaches, new players at every club and the Premiership is going to be incredibly competitive.”

Focusing on the Round 1 trip to Sandy Park, Borthwick said: “They have been one of the best sides in England for many years.”

“Their squad is packed full of talent, they have a lot of experienced players and, importantly, they have a lot of experience together.

“They are a quality side and we are going to have to be very good.”