Hipkiss ready for re-run

Leicester centre Dan Hipkiss is looking forward to a re-run of last season's historic Heineken Cup semi-final against Cardiff Blues this evening. [more]

Hipkiss ready for re-run

Leicester centre Dan Hipkiss is looking forward to a re-run of last season’s historic Heineken Cup semi-final against Cardiff Blues this evening.

The Guinness Premiership champions travel to the Welsh capital three months after winning arguably one of the most exciting matches in the history of the sport.

The two sides drew 26-26 after 80 minutes of normal time and a further 20 minutes of extra time at the Millennium Stadium in May, with the game becoming the first to be decided by a penalty shootout.

“It was definitely one of the most-exciting games I’ve ever played in,” said Hipkiss, who has appeared in Heineken Cup, Guinness Premiership, EDF Energy Cup and World Cup finals with club and country.

“We’ve always had a great deal of respect for the Blues. They were fantastic in that Heineken Cup semi. It was a tough way for them to lose and I think they would have shown us a bit of empathy if we’d have come out on the other side that day.

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“Fortunately, I was taken off before I had to take a kick at goal so I got to enjoy the exciting part without being too worried about it.”

Hipkiss and his colleagues travel across the border looking to put the final touches to their preparations for the new season which begins on against Sale at Edgeley Park on Friday September 4.

And with the game being the first rugby fixture to be played at the new Cardiff City Stadium, Hipkiss is expecting a tough evening’s work.

“We’ve been training pretty hard this week and we’ll see it as a dress rehearsal for the Sale game,” added Hipkiss.

“That’s the more important one but we’ve got to try and build momentum. We’ll be taking it pretty seriously and that’s the mentality we’ve got to have. Maybe you can use the earlier pre-season games to try things out but when it comes to these final games you want to be focusing as hard as you can on the style of play you want to use in the first Guinness Premiership match. 

“They’ll be wanting to do exactly the same as us. They’re a fantastic side and they played some great rugby last year. They’ll definitely be up for it at the new stadium. They’ll probably get a big turn out and they’ll want to perform.”

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