Leicester Tigers are in unfamiliar territory this weekend as it is the first time they are not in Europe’s elite competition.
They face Pau in the Challenge Cup on Saturday at Welford Road in their debut outing in that competition. While this is new ground for them, the situation that the club are in is all too familiar to fans over the past year.
The fallen European giants faced a tough season in 2018/19, finishing eleventh in the Gallagher Premiership and failing to make it out of their pool in the Champions Cup.
This season is not looking better, as they already sit at the foot of the English league table.
However, this weekend could mark a change in fortunes for the Tigers, as England’s World Cup stars return. George Ford, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs and Dan Cole all start while Ellis Genge, who was also in Eddie Jones’ squad, is on the bench.
Great to have our internationals back in the fray. Hoping for a change in fortune. Best of luck.
— Robert Turpie (@bobturpie) November 15, 2019
Hopefully this game will turn things around with this line up. Come on TIGERS!!
— Stephen fox (@sfox655) November 15, 2019
Leicester fans are signalling this as the game where their season is turned around, as the likes of Ford and Tuilagi are in sensational form off the back of their displays in Japan.
Glad to see him back. We need everything we can get now in this relegation battle….
— Andrew Needham (@AndyNeedham256) November 14, 2019
With newcomers Jordan Taufua and Tomas Lavanini quickly growing accustomed to life in the Midlands (although the Kiwi misses this game with a head injury), it is no wonder why so many feel that this shaky start to the season is only a minor blip.
Good to see you back… now start playing ????
— Matt Ross (@76rossmatt) November 14, 2019
Yes Ellis, the baby rhino is back ????
— Andie Middleton (@Andiemidd) November 14, 2019
Although Leicester have only won one game this season in the league, only four have been played, which means Geordan Murphy’s side can still mount a resurgence.
There was a lot of hope over the summer with some extensive recruitment to both the squad and the coaching staff, and while the season has not started the way that anyone in Leicester would have wanted, the campaign is young and it could kick start on Saturday.
WATCH: RugbyPass takes a look behind the scenes at the Leicester Tigers’ player academy.
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