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Viljoen excited for Welford Road debut

Leicester Tigers back EW Viljoen says the side want to ‘prove something’ with their return to Welford Road this weekend.

The 24-year-old retains the No13 shirt for Round 2 of the Gallagher Premiership, and is set to make his home debut when he runs out against Saracens on Sunday (October 27, 3.00pm).

For Viljoen, the game will also stand as a chance to put right the issues faced at Worcester in last week’s league opener.

“That’s not what we stand for,” said the South African centre, when asked about the loss in Round 1.

“We just need to be more consistent. Last week we were a bit inconsistent.”

And, after three months of intensive preparations for the cut-and-thrust of league action, Viljoen insists only minor tweaks will be needed to raise the levels this weekend.

“We aren’t going to change anything,” he continued. “We are going in with the same plans with a few different tactics, but we have to pitch up as a team.

“We want to come out with a bang in our first game back at home, and we want to prove something.

“We owe Welford Road.”

After being forced to sit out all four of Tigers’ season-opening Cup games with a finger injury, Sunday’s match will also serve as Viljoen’s first appearance at Leicester’s home ground.

He added: “Just like I was looking forward to my debut, I’m really looking forward to my first game at Welford Road.

“Everybody keeps telling me ‘you have to experience the crowds, you have to experience the field, the atmosphere is just amazing’.

“Just watching two games at the stadium was amazing, so it should be nice to be on the pitch this time.”

The Welford Road faithful could also get a first glimpse of the South African’s big boot on Sunday. Viljoen narrowly missed a penalty from beyond halfway at Sixways, and the outside centre has been practicing from even greater distances at the club’s Oval Park training base.

“Hopefully I can go further than the halfway line,” he laughed. “It’s something that I need to work on, and I take a lot of blame on myself for missing that one [at Worcester].

“It’s easy to do it on the training pitch, but when it comes to 10,000, 20,000 people with a bit of pressure, that’s where it really counts.

“Hopefully throughout the season we can see a few of them, and they just need to get over!”

Match tickets are still available for Sunday’s return to Welford Road. Use the links below to secure your place.