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'The main difference between here and the Premiership is that the physicality of the ball-carrying in France is way, way higher'

By PA

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Alex Lozowski insists his exposure to the Top 14’s bulldozing carriers has left him well prepared to face Leicester in Friday’s Challenge Cup final at Twickenham. Lozowski was among a group of players to depart Saracens on loan while the club campaigns for promotion from the Championship and he has spent the season at underperforming Montpellier.

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Adversity has stalked the move across the Channel with rigid lockdowns restricting the scope to experience a different lifestyle, while on the pitch the out-of-favour England centre has encountered fiercer collisions in the power-focused French league.

But with Leicester armed with what he views as some of the Gallagher Premiership’s hardest runners, Lozowski is expecting more of the same when Montpellier attempt to salvage their season at Twickenham.

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“The main difference between here and the Premiership is that the physicality of the ball-carrying in France is way, way higher,” Lozowski said. “If you look at teams in the Premiership this year, there are nowhere near as many what you would call properly physical ball carriers compared to France where every weekend, before a game, you’re thinking ‘blimey, I’m going to have to tackle today’.

“If you look at back play in the Premiership, it’s a bit more about trying to create space through running lines and it’s a bit more deceptive. In France, every weekend you know you are going to have to tackle.

“Having said that, the few exceptions to the rule would be Leicester players. Guys like Nemani Nadolo, Ellis Genge, Jasper Wiese you’d have down as some of the few properly physical ball carriers in the Premiership.

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“And you look at those guys, and you think, ‘I am going to have to tackle tonight’. It’s been a brilliant experience over here. It’s a very different style of play, which takes some getting used to, but it’s going to be worthwhile for me.”

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'The main difference between here and the Premiership is that the physicality of the ball-carrying in France is way, way higher'

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