Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Ulster Rugby don't fear Leicester Tigers

Ulster know a lot of big cats are lying in wait for them on Saturday.

With Leicester Tigers able to draw on all five of last summer's Lions players, it would be easy to lapse into all sorts of feline analogies.

But the prospect of Ulster being mauled at Welford Road (6pm) is not occupying Nick Williams' mind.

The powerful back row forward isn't thinking too much about the quality of the opposition; all that matters to him is how Ulster perform.

Both sides have qualified for the quarter-finals; now it is about winning Saturday's final Pool 5 game in order to book a home tie.

"We've been talking about 'respectful fear' in our camp this week. That's a lot different to fear," said the winner of last season's PRO12 Player of the Year and the Irish Players' Player of the Year double.

"You don't want to fear a squad so much that you get intimidated or starstruck. Don't get me wrong, we respect them. You have to respect whatever opposition you play, otherwise you're going to get a real good kick up the backside.

"But whether it's five Lions or 15 Lions we're playing, Saturday is going to be all about us and what we do."

Leicester's Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill will have an almost full-strength squad to choose from for Saturday night's showdown.

Powerful Samoan prop Logovi'i Mulipola, second row pair Ed Slater and Graham Kitchener and flanker Steve Mafi have all been passed fit for inclusion in the much-vaunted Tigers pack, while the availability of centre Anthony Allen is likely to see captain Toby Flood switch from 12 to his favourite position at 10.

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