Fear of failure fires Youngs
August 29, 2013
Ben Youngs has tipped Saracens and Harlequins as his side's main title rivals this season © Getty Images
Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs has revealed that a fear of failure is set to propel the Premiership side to yet more success this season.
The Tigers claimed last season's glory with victory over Northampton in May - their 10th title in what was their ninth straight final appearance.
Youngs, who used their Twickenham triumph as a stepping stone to further success with the British & Irish Lions, is adamant that their latest honour simply raises the bar for the forthcoming campaign. "There's pressure on us every year and the mentality of the squad is that no one is happy with winning or having reached the final," Youngs told PA Sport.
"We all want to be the best and do the best we can for the club. There's also the fear of becoming the first team that doesn't make it to the final.
"The squad is full of internationals who know how to play big games and big scenarios. But every season when I look at the Premiership it gets tougher and tougher.
"Saracens have recruited well with guys like Billy Vunipola. They will be very good again this year. Northampton will be there or thereabouts, but the main threats will be Saracens or Harlequins."
While the Tigers have dominated the domestic landscape, they have struggled to re-produce that level of success in Europe with two final defeats in the 11 years since they last lifted the Heineken Cup. But Youngs believes his side are well-placed to launch a successful assault on European club rugby's biggest prize.
"This season the experience we've had from the Lions and England tours will allow us to kick on," he said. "Europe has to be the key for us this season. We've talked for four years about it being a big goal.
"We've reached the quarter-finals but no further, so that's a massive goal. We have a tough pool of Treviso, Montpellier and Ulster, but it's also a good pool. If we get through that with a home quarter-final we can really kick on from there."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Download ESPN's new UK multisport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker