O'Connor talks up Tigers' strength
August 1, 2012
Tigers head coach Matt O'Connor believes lasy year's beaten finalists have a stronger squad this term © PA Photos
Leicester head coach Matt O'Connor believes the perennial title-challengers have a better squad than they did last season.
The Tigers, beaten finalists in the last two seasons, have lost the services of the likes of Billy Twelvetrees, George Skivington, Horacio Agulla and Alesana Tuilagi but O'Connor believes the club have recruited well in the off-season with the Dan Bowden, Adam Thompstone and Miles Benjamin among those to move to Welford Road.
"It was a very tense Premiership last season after the World Cup because we had to win every game," he told the Leicester Mercury. "The boys worked very hard in that spell and it was incredibly frustrating to fall at the final hurdle. They were outstanding in trying circumstances.
"They earned their rest over the summer and now they are refreshed and looking forward to training. There are some new faces and it's about bringing guys up to speed as soon as possible. There is a bit of work to be done with those guys because they need to learn the systems.
"But, across the board, the shape of the squad is pretty good. Of the blokes that have just joined us, lots of them have played plenty of rugby. In terms of experience, where we were deficient at times last season, we have filled in those gaps and we should have a harder edge to us.
"The new lads are working really hard and they will learn quickly from the quality pros we have in the environment. It's probably a better squad across the board than we had last season. We are quietly confident."
Looking ahead to the new campaign, he added: "It is important that we get off to a good start in the Premiership this season - unlike last season," he said. "We are very conscious of starting the Premiership on the right foot.
"It's important going into those early Heineken Cup rounds to be in a comfortable position in the Premiership. How hard we had to work to recover from a bad start in the Premiership last season, certainly took its toll on us in the Heineken Cup last season."
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