Club captain Tom Youngs says his ‘tight’ Leicester Tigers side can use the bonus-point win over Exeter Chiefs as a launchpad into Gallagher Premiership action.
Tigers took on the Chiefs in a first home match of the season last Friday, coming out on top in Round 2 of the Premiership Rugby Cup thanks to scores from Guy Thompson, Jordan Olowofela, Jonah Holmes and Kyle Eastmond.
For Youngs – who made his first appearance of the new season under the lights at Welford Road – the performance is just a small sign of the ‘togetherness’ felt among the squad.
“Everyone is pushing each other, and it’s a good feeling,” he told LeicesterTigers.com.
“There’s a saying; that a successful environment is not a comfortable environment, and that’s something we’ve been keen on.
“It’s not about being comfortable, because we won’t achieve anything. It’s about being respectful to each other and being honest with one another. That honesty has grown massively over the last 14 weeks [of pre-season].”
“Let’s keep cracking on and keep moving forward.”Tom Youngs
Now halfway through a four-week block of Cup action, Youngs and his team-mates have continued to keep an eye on the upcoming league campaign, which kicks off away to Worcester on Saturday, October 19 (3.00pm).
The hooker continued: “The biggest thing that came out of Friday’s game for me was that the stuff we have done in the past 14 weeks – the way that we’ve been training – actually came out on the pitch.
“By no means, it wasn’t a full-strength Exeter side, but there are [still] some really good positives to take out of that game.
“Likewise, there are plenty of things to still work on, and plenty of things to keep hammering on that we want to drive as our standards and our culture.
“We’re saying ‘great to win, great start, but let’s keep cracking on and keep moving forward’.”
Geordan Murphy’s men head to The Rec for a Round 3 clash with Bath Rugby this weekend, before a home fixture against Northampton Saints.
Youngs explained that the West Country trip will serve as another chance at embedding the club’s long-toiled-over pre-season preparations.
“We’re all building to that first Prem game, to be honest, and that’s the exciting thing,” he added.
“We’ve still got so much growth to go through, and then another two weeks and we’re into that Worcester game, and there’s so much growth to go in this group.
“We want to be tough, but tough isn’t using your fists or anything like that – it’s about being mentally tough.
“There’s a real sense of togetherness among the players at Oval Park, and that will only get better and grow over the next however many weeks.”
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