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Skipper looks ahead to Friday night clash

Leicester Tigers club captain Tom Youngs says his team have shown ‘strong character’ over the last few weeks, and are prepared for a tough test at Sale.

The hooker returned from a knee injury to start in the last three Gallagher Premiership rounds against Saracens, Worcester and Wasps, and is ready for another physical battle against Steve Diamond’s men this evening (8.00pm).

“It’s going to be a massively hard test up there,” Youngs said. “They don’t lose many to international rugby and we’re up against it again, but we stick together, and we can keep fighting.

“As a team, one thing we have got is our work ethic. I think that we’ve shown some strong character, especially in that [Wasps] game.”

Tigers held out their Midlands rivals for the entire second half in their Round 15 clash, despite losing Ben White, Sam Harrison and Gareth Owen to injuries early in the match.

But Youngs does not expect any respite against a Sale side that sit eighth in the league table – on the same points as Leicester – going into this weekend.

He continued: “They’re a physical team, and [scrum-half] Faf [de Klerk] is a real threat.

“They’ve got some good back three players who score some good tries, but up front they’ve got a well-drilled pack. It’s going to be a tough battle for us up there.”

The match is Tigers’ last in a block of four Premiership games, before a week’s break ahead of Derby Day against Northampton Saints at Welford Road (Friday, March 23, 7.45pm).

Youngs said the squad are excited about the direction they’re headed.

“We’ve said all along that we’re working on what we need to be working on,” he added.

“Many a time I’ve said in interviews that we’re working hard, and sometimes the hard work doesn’t pay off immediately, but if you just keep sticking at it, it will do eventually.

“Hopefully we’re starting to see the results of that, and the things we’re working on are getting better and better.”