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Rugby News

Tait: We owe Worcester after home defeat

Matt Tait
Matt Tait

Mathew Tait has called on the Leicester Tigers squad to gain payback for the Round 9 home defeat by Worcester Warriors when they travel to Sixways return fixture this Sunday.

In a busy week for Tait, which has included a return to the starting side following Gareth Owen's shoulder injury and re-committing to the club beyond the current season, the former England centre said he believes Tigers "owe Worcester" after conceding a four-try bonus-point defeat the last time the sides met.

"We owe Worcester ... after they put a bonus point on us at Welford Road earlier this season,” he said.

Tait admitted he wasn't ready to be thrown into the action last Sunday when Tigers defeated Saracens, thrust in to the game in the opening five minutes after centre Owen dislocated his shoulder.

“I was just getting comfortable in my normal seat next to our doctor and unfortunately Gareth went down," Tait said.

Leicester make the journey to Sixways on Sunday afternoon in search of a third straight Aviva Premiership victory, following successive victories over Harlequins at home and away to Saracens, which Tait admits could feel "obsolete" should they walk away from Worcester with nothing.

"To come away with nothing down there would render last week’s win a little bit obsolete," the 32-year-old said.

With Owen set to be sidelined for some time and George Ford still away at Six Nations, Tait starts in the No.12 shirt outside Matt Toomua.

“I’ve just got to be his eyes and ears, playing outside Matt and trying to 'unleash the beast' of Tuilagi and Telusa with Adam Thompstone and Jonah Holmes on the wings as well.

“Matt Toomua is a quality player and has been instrumental in the last couple of weeks in our performances."

When asked about the turn around in fortunes for the Tigers coinciding with the arrival of new forwards coach Mark Bakewell, the centre said the renewed focus from the Leicester pack on getting the little things right was a huge part of the on-field success.

“Bakes has come in and made a massive difference in the past couple of weeks for the group."

“The intent across the park last weekend was fantastic.

"The little details around set piece and breakdown were spot on. We just have to make sure we are as clinical and accurate this weekend against Worcester."

To see the Tigers Team named for the Round 17 fixture click here.