Leicester Tigers back George Worth has described the eerie atmosphere at Welford Road after a first fixture behind closed doors.
The men in green, white and red hosted Bath Rugby on Saturday in the first home game since the return to rugby, and face London Irish at the same ground on Wednesday (August 26, 6.00pm).
And Worth – who shifted into the centres for the Round 15 match – explained how the team had to ‘create their own energy’ without the fervent support of the Tigers faithful.
“When you notice it most is probably before the game,” he said of the empty stadium. “That’s when you can usually feel the atmosphere building as you’re warming up.
“Sometimes, when you’re playing, you get so immersed in the game you can almost forget there is a crowd. But they obviously give you that pick-me-up when they get behind you during a match.
“You do potentially have create a bit more energy yourself, but you’re still playing for Leicester Tigers. There’s plenty to get energy from.”
The Tigers Academy graduate started in the No13 shirt against an experienced Bath side, as head coach Steve Borthwick handed opportunities to some of the club’s home-grown talents alongside a handful of summer signings.
Despite the full-time result, Worth said the most important factor was to focus on how the experience ties into the club’s longer-term aspirations.
He added: “Steve made it very clear that the first and main thing to get out of the game was to win it.
“But we also listed a few other things about being proud of our performance and building what we’d started against Exeter.
“Success isn’t just about winning at this point. Although it’s very, very important to all of us – we’re here to win – success is also about building on what we’ve done and trying to show what we’ve been doing in training.
“These are all different factors that contribute to success.”