Ollie Smith is determined to put the disappointment of losing the Zurich Premiership final behind him by making a success of his British & Irish Lions tour.
Smith’s Leicester side were beaten 14-39 by Wasps at Twickenham on Saturday, but the 22-year-old insists touring New Zealand with the Lions will quickly erase memories of the defeat.
The centre told www.leicestertigers.com: "It’s an awesome honour, probably one of the biggest in any player’s career.
"Saturday was obviously a massive disappointment and I think it would have been quite annoying lying on a beach somewhere over the summer, having to deal with that loss for so long.
"At least now I have the chance to put things right on the field and I’m going to work incredibly hard to make the tour a success."
Smith is looking forward to working with England coach Sir Clive Woodward again and believes the Lions tour is about more than just playing rugby.
"It’s fantastic," he said. "Having Geordie (Woodward) around at the club is great, but I’m looking forward to mingling with other players from other countries whilst abroad.
"Rugby is a great game to make loads of new friends and this is a great opportunity to do just that – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance."