What Leicester are saying behind closed doors about silverware
Scotland centre Matt Scott has revealed Leicester are refusing to talk about a potential Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup double as they prepare for a number of season-defining fixtures.
Leicester take on Bristol in the league tomorrow who are a timely reminder of how a Premiership campaign can come up short in the play-offs and then they host Leinster in the Cup quarter-finals on May 7 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.
Leicester, like Bristol last season, have dominated the regular Premiership season campaign and are on course for a home semi-final play-off which the West country side achieved only to suffer an extra-time loss to eventual champions Harlequins 43-36 at Ashton Gate. As a result, Leicester, who have won 10 English titles, are mirroring the attitude of Steve Borthwick, their pragmatic head coach, by ramming home the view they have achieved nothing yet.
Scott, who has won 39 Scotland caps, is keenly aware that Leicester last won the Premiership in 2013 and the Cup in 2002 and said: “It is not about jinxing ourselves it is just the best way to deal with the last part of the season.
“We have worked really well up to this point of the season but have spoken about the fact we haven’t done anything yet – we have won a lot of games and have a good home record but the next couple of months will show us where we are as a squad. We believe if we play to the best of our ability we will be a tough team to beat. We are using the draw of potential silverware to drag us where we want to go.
“Up to this point it has been a squad effort in all competitions and there are two or three good players in every position and every time we have changes we haven’t seen a drop off in performance. That is down to the culture and quality of coaching and the set up here. It is, without doubt, the best I have been involved in and I have seen players improve beyond belief in the last couple of years here and that is down the culture and environment.”
Scott has been impressed with the development of England centre Dan Kelly, currently injured, and Guy Porter who has just returned from his ban for an unfortunate collision against Clermont in the Cup. “I have not been surprised at all by the development of Dan Kelly and Guy Porter and they were already exciting young players but the way they apply themselves ever day and the guidance they have had from the coaches and other players, they really soak up a lot of that feedback and work hard after training,” added the 31-year-old who also played for Edinburgh and Gloucester and has a law degree.
“Guys like myself and Tutti (Matias) Moroni, with a bit more experience, we have had to keep on improving to be in with a shout of playing. There is a good camaraderie between the five of us including Juan Pablo Socino. It is a healthy competition.
“I have been in environments where there has been a bit of spitefulness towards players in your same position. But, I also had senior players who really helped me and took time to work on parts of my game with me and I want to do that with Dan and Guy. We are friends off the pitch and while we all want to play in the big games it is healthy competition.”
Join free and tell us what you really think!Join Free