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Rugby News

Match Reaction: Steve Borthwick

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Steve Borthwick says it was a special experience for him and the players to be back playing in front of Leicester Tigers supporters at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking following the full-time whistle in the Gallagher Premiership game against league-leaders Bristol Bears, the Tigers head coach said: “There will be a lot of talk about what happened in the last couple of minutes but I’m not going to talk about that, I just want to talk about how our players made our fans proud today.”

“Tigers fans should rightly be very proud of their team and how much it means to these players to play for Leicester Tigers and represent the club.”

Discussing the performance of his team, who fought back to be in with a chance of claiming victory over the table-topping Bears, Borthwick admitted the Tigers squad hurt themselves on occasion in the Round 21 fixture.

“We will closely at our performance and what we could have done better to make that a win,” he said.

“We gifted them points out there today, which is disappointing, and we need to be putting ourselves in a better position to win.”

The Leicester head coach added that the job for his players is to now continue to find ways to improve as a group after the defeat.

“Each week, we want to find ways to be a better rugby team and improve, so that’s what we will do,” said Borthwick.

Mattioli Woods Welford Road welcomed supporters to a game for the first time in almost 16 months, which doubled as Borthwick’s first game in charge in front of fans since arriving last summer.

Asked about their impact on the team and experience for he and his players back in front of their fans at home, he said: “I definitely think they helped lift the team, Leicester Tigers supporters are very special and we are lucky to have them.”

“We have had our fans with us through this whole season, we know they have been supporting from afar … we just haven’t been able to see them and share match days with them.

“It’s my first game as head coach of this team with a crowd at our home ground and was a special experience for me and many players, experiencing that for the first time.”