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Rugby News

Thompson: “We need to get a foothold”

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Leicester back-rower Guy Thompson has warned the Tigers squad not to let last weekend’s 52-point victory over Rugby Calvisano go to their heads as they prepare for the return fixture this weekend.

Geordan Murphy’s men put nine tries past the Italian side in their European Challenge Cup tie at Welford Road on Saturday, but now face a trip to the Pata Stadium in the second of the tournament’s traditional back-to-back rounds.

And Thompson, who made a cameo off the bench last time out, has urged his team-mates to reset ahead of the new challenge this Saturday (December 14, 1.30pm).

“We were happy, first and foremost, to get the win at home,” Thompson said. “And to get [more than] 50 points is always a positive.

“However, we’re also realists and we understand that we left a lot of points out there, and it wasn’t a complete 80-minute performance.

“That’s a big work on for us this week, because we know that Calvisano at home are a very different side. We know we’re in for a tough afternoon when we go out there.”

Tigers sit top of Pool 5 in the European competition, with 14 points out of a possible 15 from their first three games.

A win on Saturday would put them in control of the group with a home fixture against Cardiff Blues and Round 6 trip to Pau still to come in 2020, but Thompson explained all focus is on backing up last week’s win with another strong performance away from home.

“Calvisano are a good side,” the 32-year-old continued. “Like I said, we are a little disappointed that we didn’t keep to our game plan for the full 80 minutes last week, so we know we have to get a good start in the game.

“We need to get a foothold, and then we can start building on a [full] performance.

“First and foremost, it’ll be a case of getting out there and getting stuck in.”