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Smarter rugby required says Fitzgerald

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Mike Fitzgerald says the Tigers side need to play ‘smarter’ rugby if they are to be in with a chance of recording a second victory over Castres Olympique in this season’s European competition.

“We need to be playing much smarter,” the New Zealand-born lock said.

Speaking from the Leicester club’s Oval Park Training Ground in between training sessions in preparation for Tigers' trip to France for the second time this season, Fitzgerald also admitted that last weekend’s win over London Irish had lifted spirits. 

“There is a bit of a hoodoo off the back after it eluded us for a couple of weeks,” he said. “Winning certainly lifts the confidence.”

Tigers ran in seven tries against the French Top 14 club in their Round 2 encounter of this season’s Champions Cup at Welford Road, which Fitzgerald admitted was one of the best showings from the side in 2017.

“It was probably one of our better games this season and acts as a good blueprint for us going over this weekend,” Fitzgerald said.

The match was in particular a highlight for the Tigers big men, who showed their ability to play at high intensity across the pitch to stretch the sizeable Castres side, which  was adamant they would need to do again this weekend at Stade Pierre-Fabre.

“They’re a really big pack. The front five are big, even their back-row are massive guys and we need to make sure we move them around a bit.”