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Rugby News

Youngs talks up Big Game with Harlequins

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Leicester Tigers club captain Tom Youngs has previewed a titanic tussle between his team and Harlequins in front of a packed Twickenham Stadium this weekend.

And, after going toe-to-toe with Gallagher Premiership table-toppers Exeter Chiefs in Round 6, the hooker looked ahead to the ‘huge game’ that awaits the Leicester squad at England Rugby’s HQ.

“Getting the opportunity to play at Twickenham is exciting,” said the 28-cap England international.

“I haven’t played there for a long time, so I’m excited about going down and playing against Quins.

“It’s always nice playing there, and it’s exciting for guys who haven’t experienced a lot of it.

“Obviously, it’s Harlequins’ day – they’ve picked it out as a big game for them – but it’s a huge game for us as well. A really exciting challenge.”

Aside from their most recent Premiership Final appearance, in 2013, Tigers have played a number of regular season games at the 82,000-seater in recent years, with two matches against Bath – winning one – as well as last season’s Derby Day win over Northampton Saints.

Tom Youngs Twickenham
Tigers came out on top in their last match at HQ, against Northampton Saints last October.

Youngs added that the nature of the pitch, plus his team’s attacking display last time out at Welford Road, should make for another exciting clash this Saturday (December 28, 4.30pm).

He continued: “It’s a big pitch, so it should give Jonny May and Telusa a little bit more room!

“I think the game against Exeter is probably one of the best games we’ve played this season, certainly in the first 50 or 60 minutes, but unfortunately we just couldn’t quite get a foothold in the last quarter.

“What we need to do better against Quins is ride those momentums a little bit better, so you don’t go negative, negative, negative – you go from a negative into a positive.

“We did that in the first part of the game, but didn’t quite do that all the way through.”

Nevertheless, after another intensive training week split by a day of Christmas celebrations, the skipper said that Tigers are tantalisingly close to the performance that will kick-start their domestic campaign.

“We always want to win, and we obviously didn’t do that against Exeter,” he added.

“We felt like we did enough in the game to do that, but we were up against a very good Exeter team who are much further down the line than we are in the way they play, and the way they cope and adapt to things.

“We showed what we want to be about in the first 50, 60 minutes. Now it’s about making the final touches and doing it for the full 80.”