Scrum-half Harry Simmons was a young man torn between self-pride and shared disappointment after his European Champions Cup debut in Castres on Sunday.
Among five Tigers to make their first European appearance in the Stade Pierre Fabre fixture, Simmons said the players called into the line-up were well aware of what to expect in the world’s premier club rugby competition.
Speaking to LeicesterTigers.com after the full-time whistle, Simmons admitted to mixed feelings after his European bow, thrown into the action as a replacement on the hour mark.
“The week was really good,” he said. “We were sharp and were prepared well for what to expect.
“I thought I was able to bring a bit of energy, which is what Matt wanted me to do, and so while it wasn’t my worst game I also definitely don’t think it was my best. I felt I did a couple of things well but, in saying that, I had a couple of poor errors and I am annoyed with that personally.”
In just his third appearance for Tigers after making his debut in the Anglo-Welsh Cup side that beat Gloucester at Welford Road earlier this season, the youngster said his own achievement still did not outweigh the disappointment of defeat.
“It is, of course, a big day for us,” he said when asked of how it felt to join the ranks of European Tigers. “But the scoreboard clearly shows it wasn’t a good day at the office as a team.
“We didn’t take the opportunities we had inside the Castres 22 and it cost us.”