Dallaglio reveals respect for Tigers

Wasps skipper Lawrence Dallaglio has voiced his respect for Leicester as England's greatest club rivals prepare to lock horns once again. [more]

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Wasps skipper Lawrence Dallaglio has voiced his respect for Leicester as England’s greatest club rivals prepare to lock horns once again.

The two sides collide in tomorrow’s EDF Energy Cup semi-final at the Millennium Stadium with a place in the Twickenham showpiece on April 12 awaiting the winners.

Wasps claimed the last major showdown when they denied Leicester an unprecedented treble with a 25-9 victory in the Heineken Cup final last season.

"It’s a huge game – a cup semi-final in a competition Leicester won last year and we won the year before," said Dallaglio.

"There’s obviously a lot of respect at Wasps for Leicester. Between the two of us we try to win as much as we can in the professional era.

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"There’s a real appetite for silverware and this game is really exciting.

"The two teams know each other well and hold each other in very high regard. The secret behind our success is simple – hard work.

"There is also a desire to develop players for England and Test rugby.

"We pipped them to the Heineken Cup last season and both sides will have a lot of motivation for this game."

The contest will see the return of Danny Cipriani to club competition after the England sensation starred in Saturday’s 33-10 victory over Ireland.

Cipriani’s profile has rocketed but Dallaglio is backing the 20-year-old to take the adulation in his stride – thanks to his grounding at Wasps.

"Danny made a super debut and we’re delighted for him at Wasps. The pressure on him was great," he said.

"There was Jonny Wilkinson watching eagerly from the sidelines, so to perform to that level was great.

"That’s the whole ethos of Wasps – to get people up to that level and make sure they stay there.

"As an England fly-half there will always be a level of attention on him – he replaced Jonny Wilkinson at number 10 so he better get used to it.

"But he’s at a club which is used to attention and in an environment where there are players who have had and continue to have that sort of attention so I don’t think it will be an issue.

"In Ian McGeechan we’ve got the former Lions and Scotland coach, a Wales coach in Shaun Edwards and now an England fly-half. Great."

Leicester’s preparations for the tie have been lifted by the news Argentina superstar Juan Martin Hernandez wants to swap Stade Francais for Welford Road.

A summer move to Leicester would see Hernandez, 25, reunited with Tigers coach Marcelo Loffreda, who guided Argentina to third place in the World Cup last autumn.

"I want a new challenge and that challenge is to join Leicester," said Hernandez.

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