National nightmare won’t affect Tigers

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill is convinced England's heavy loss to Ireland won't have an adverse effect on his star players when they return to Dublin to take on Leinster this weekend. [more]

National nightmare won’t affect Tigers

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill is convinced England’s heavy loss to Ireland won’t have an adverse effect on his star players when they return to Dublin to take on Leinster this weekend.

England’s Grand Slam dreams came crashing down when Ireland triumphed 24-8 at the Aviva Stadium last month but Cockerill believes that match is now firmly in the past and won’t have any impact on the present.

Dan Cole, Louis Deacon, Tom Croft, Toby Flood and Ben Youngs will all head back to the Irish capital for this Sunday’s Heineken Cup quarter final and Cockerill isn’t worried about any lingering demons.

"It is a different team, different attitude and a different scenario, so I don't think it will have any effect on the way Ben Youngs or Toby Flood or Louis Deacon or Dan Cole will play,” said Cockerill.

"Human nature will dictate that they would like to go there and prove that they can play and do a good job, but it is a different scenario. We'll see if psychologically it is a benefit or whether it is a detriment.

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"What they can take from the experience is they know what intensity to expect – they are not going to get caught cold by the physicality or the atmosphere in the stadium. Hopefully, that is a benefit for us.”

Leicester head to Dublin looking for revenge on the side that beat them 19-16 in Europe’s showpiece event two years ago.

The English Champions are in good form having won five of their last six matches but Cockerill admits picking up a third continental crown and a first since 2002 will be a huge ask.

"We've been good away from home. In the last two weeks we have been away from home and have had late kick-offs, so it's good preparation,” added the former England hooker.

"It's a hard trophy to win. It's hard enough just to get out of the pool stages and then you've got to manoeuvre your way through a quarter-final and the knockout stages.

"You want to see as a club whether you have the mettle to go to these places and win. If you want to win this competition you've got to win these sorts of games.

"We've done it previously, but then the club game and the finances have changed since the times when we won it and even the last final.

"We'd like to win it for obvious reasons but I don't think there's any disgrace in having not won it in the last nine years."

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