Steve Borthwick believes Saturday's trip to Northampton to take on Saints will be a big challenge for his Leicester Tigers side.
Speaking from the club's Oval Park training ground in the build-up to the Round 3 fixture of the new Gallagher Premiership campaign, the Leicester Tigers Head Coach admitted Northampton had impressed him in the opening weeks of the season.
Asked about the first East Midlands Derby of the season - and 250th meeting between the two clubs - Borthwick admitted the milestone had not been mentioned at Oval Park.
"I didn’t know that milestone was upon us, to be honest," he said.
"From my point of view it is an important game for the supporters and the two clubs have passionate fans who enjoy the rivalry very much.
"It is brilliant that rugby has a derby and rivalry like this and long may that continue as, for the supporters, it is great."
Discussing the next chapter of the Leicester / Northampton history, on Saturday afternoon, Borthwick added: "They are a very good team, who are playing very good rugby and we must prepare as well as we can ahead of this weekend's game."
"They certainly talk a lot about how they want to play and the type of rugby they want to play.
"You look at their side and they have world-class, experienced players in the group and have recruited well in the summer now in the mix.
"It is going to be a big challenge for us."