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Rugby News

Thompstone looks ahead to ‘tough test’ in Italy

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Leicester Tigers are in for a ‘tough test’ away to Italian side Calvisano in the European Challenge Cup this weekend, according to wing Adam Thompstone.

The 32-year-old forced his way onto the scoresheet with an interception try in last week’s 59-7 win over the same opposition at Welford Road, but said Saturday’s return fixture is still likely to be a stern test of the Leicester squad.

“Saturday was obviously a good win for us,” he said. “You always need to get a bit of confidence [back] after a loss, which we managed to do on Saturday.

“The game wasn’t perfect – there were times where we didn’t complete where we should have, and maybe scored – but there were huge positives to take from the game, and hopefully we can replicate that again this weekend.

“We’re expecting a tough test when we go there. They’ve obviously got a point to prove from the weekend, and we expect them to come out firing. We’re expecting a tough challenge.”

Thompstone, who spent almost all of last season side-lined with a serious knee injury, revealed he’s ‘just happy’ to be back out on the field – and scoring tries.

He added: “I’m feeling good – really good, in fact. I’m over the knee injury that I had.

“I missed the first part of pre-season but had a good summer, I’ve got some games under my belt, and it was all about getting confidence back in my knee, which I’m happy with now – and just happy to be back playing.”

And what about interception tries? Both of Thompstone’s scores so far this term have come from pouncing on loose passes, so what’s the secret?

“It’s just one of those things,” he replied, with a smile. “Sometimes things go for you in a game, sometimes it doesn’t – before this season I don’t think I’ve had many [interception tries] at all!”

Tigers sit top of their Challenge Cup pool with 14 points from a possible 15 in their first three games, with a home fixture against Cardiff Blues and a trip to French club Pau still to come later in the season.

Following Saturday’s test at the Pata Stadium, attentions will revert back to the Gallagher Premiership, with the final two games of 2019 for the men in green, white and red set against Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins.

Thompstone continued: “We’re training hard each week for every single game, and it’s about clicking on the weekend; for some reason we’ve just happened to do that in Europe and not so much in the Premiership so far.

“Playing in Europe is a big competition. There’s pressure in every game – especially at Welford Road when we play in front of our home fans – but I don’t think it’s necessarily the case that there’s more pressure in the Premiership.

“Rest assured, we’re working hard to put things right, and hopefully we will carry our European form into the Premiership.”

You can secure your place at Welford Road for Tigers’ festive fixture with Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, December 21 (3.00pm) from £28 for adults and £14 for Under-18s.

Book match tickets in person at Welford Road, on 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online, using the link below.