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Rugby News

Borthwick pleased to see players rewarded for effort

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Steve Borthwick discusses the bonus-point win over Bristol Bears in Round 24 of the Gallagher Premiership season and looks ahead to the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster Rugby.

Speaking at full-time, the Leicester Tigers Head Coach said: “I am really pleased with the result, especially the way the team started the game.”

“But, in that second-half, we conceded too much space and we must be better than that. Especially next week, we must be better than that.”

Borthwick was pleased for his players, who were rewarded for their effort, but said that it would not be long spent reflecting on the win.

“The players will enjoy today and they should, they worked incredibly hard to get this result,” he said.

“But, while we will enjoy it tonight, we will move on quickly and the focus will switch to what will be an incredible challenge next weekend against Leinster at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.”

Looking ahead to the challenge of taking on the four-time Heineken Champions Cup winners, he said there was no illusion as to the size of the task next Saturday evening.

“I think everybody knows what a great team Leinster are and the incredible record they have in Europe,” Borthwick said.

“It is an organisation with incredible resources and depth; you just need to look at the fact they have been able to leave a team at home while they touring South Africa to prepare for next week’s game.

“That’s not something many teams are able to do, it’s not something we are able to do in the Premiership, and we know it will be big challenge.”

In a memorable day at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, more than 20,000 fans were in attendance to farewell club legend Tom Youngs and treated to not only the bonus-point victory but also witnessed Chris Ashton break the Premiership’s all-time try-scoring record.

Ahead of a European quarter-final at Tigers HQ, Borthwick said he was hoping for more of the same in seven days.

“I want this club involved in big games, big occasions and we had one of those today,” he said.

“Next week will be another incredible day here with another big Leicester Tigers crowd and we are excited about what that will be. I hope the supporters are as well.

“This is a supporter base that care so much for the team, for each player, and the players care about every fan. I hope they see that, I hope they feel that, we are in this together.”