Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick talks preparation, expectation and excitement in his first Team Talk after naming the side to take on Exeter Chiefs in Round 14 of the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership.
Borthwick's first Tigers matchday includes two players who will make their first appearances for the club, Matt Scott and David Williams, as well as Luke Wallace and Zack Henry who are in line for their Leicester debuts after being included among the replacements.
The matchday squad includes 13 players to have graduated from the Tigers academy, including Thom Smith who - if used from the bench - will make his first Premiership appearance for the club.
STEVE ON PHASE 1 & 2 TRAINING...
We know this has been challenging period, particularly here in Leicester in our city, but the effort of everybody around the club has been magnificent
We have progressed from very individual training to small group training, to now team training and I think now everybody is excited by this opportunity to get back on the field tomorrow
STEVE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS...
They’re a very, very good side and have been a contender at the top of the table for a long time now
What we know is that we have got to go there and put out the best performance we possibly can
That’s what we have been working towards, focusing very much on ourselves and developing our game
We know we have got a lot of work to do and we know that process is going to continue
But, we have started on a path and we will continue on that path
STEVE ON THE TIGERS TEAM SELECTED...
I think it’s an exciting team
There are players making a first appearance for Leicester - Matt Scott at 12, finishing the game Luke Wallace, finishing the game Zack Henry in their first appearances for Leicester
First senior Premiership appearances for Leicester for David Williams, who came through the academy and has gone elsewhere and is back with us and Thom Smith, again, who has come through the academy.
I think what is pleasing to see is how many academy graduates re part of this match day squad
They know Leicester, they love representing Leicester and I think that is something that has come across very strong to me is how much these players want to make our supporters very proud of this team
STEVE ON THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE TIGERS TEAM
I think first and foremost we want to see… I think any supporter wants to see is how much it means to their team to represent them
So, the effort and the passion the team play with and commit to, I think that is non-negotiable
I think then what we need to see is, as we go, is what we have put on the training field about the way we want to play rugby going forward
We want to start seeing that
It’s going to be a bit different to what it was before
Is it finished? No, it’s not, as I said earlier. We have got a lot of work to do and we will continue working along that path and we want to see the progress we are making along that
STEVE ON RUGBY RETURNING TO ACTION...
Brilliant, it’s brilliant
I think everybody wants to get back out on the field, I think everybody associated with the club wants that - from the supporters I have chatted to, they are desperate to see the team out there again
Everyone is really looking forward to this game