Leicester Tigers captain Tom Youngs has described the extreme attention to detail of the club’s new-look coaching team.
And he told LeicesterTigers.com how, under head coach Steve Borthwick and his coaching staff, there has been an increased energy and excitement among the playing squad.
“This period is about testing each other at the max,” the hooker said. “We’ve had to use the whole squad, and that’s fantastic for young guys and new additions, as they’re getting a go pretty quickly.
“One thing you’ve seen with Steve is that he’s not afraid to give the young guys a go, and that’s going to accelerate their development.
“Some of them will make mistakes, but they’ll learn from that so, come 12 months down the line, the squad will be in a far better place because we’ve got people with experience of playing Premiership rugby.”
“This period is about testing each other at the max.”Tom Youngs
Aside from the challenge of facing three games in eight days – and testing the full depth of the Leicester squad – the coaches have also been drilling down into the details of Tigers’ game.
Youngs added: “Steve and the rest of the coaches have been brilliant. Steve has brought in a way that we want to play, but Aled [Walters] has then adapted that into our fitness.
“He’s brought the South African fitness regime to us and it shows. You don’t mind doing some very hard sessions as long as it’s working towards something – towards being better and towards a game plan.
“The whole point is to make training way harder than a game fitness-wise, so that when you’re in a game you can focus on the job at hand.
“That means you’re not worried about breathing in and out, and you’re more focused on making your defensive read and talking to the players around you.”
And that attention to detail is probably most evident in another new addition at Oval Park – Borthwick’s now-famous lineout ladder.
“Steve expects top-drawer throws and he’ll tell you if it’s not right,” Youngs continued. “He just wants to make each and every player better, and he’ll do anything to try and do that.
“All you’ve got to do as a player is apply yourself and work hard.
“Obviously there’s still a long way to go on a lot of things, but the huge positive is how much we have really come on.”