Leicester take on Clermont in what promises to be a fierce encounter on Sunday. The Tigers travel to Clermont on Sunday before the return next weekend aiming to end Clermont’s 33 match unbeaten run on home soil.
The atmosphere at Clermont with its passionate local fan base adds to a squad with tremendous strength in depth which has seen the French side go without a defeat at home since November 2009.
Thomas Waldrom has said the Tigers will “meet fire with fire” when they head over to France. The French league at the moment is dominated by huge forward packs and Clermont have one of the biggest. If the Tigers and to stand a chance, and it is a big if, they will need and incredibly strong forward performance and a physical determination to fight all over the pitch. In a sense then, last week’s clash with Northampton, which saw two players shown red cards could prove that the Tigers, whilst outsiders have certainly got a chance to give a good physical showing for themselves.
Last season they faced a similar challenge when they took on Perpignan. Perpignan are also renowned for their huge pack and intimidating atmosphere. Leicester did not cope well last year, but Waldrom feels they have learnt from mistakes made last year and can make an improvement this time round.
Leicester, as a club have shown over the last decade or so, that they are a big game club. Their success speaks for itself and they will have to call on their past experiences, all the way up to last weekend to give themselves any chance of getting a result at Clermont.
With two wins out of two for both sides the next two games will probably decide the winners of the pool and Waldrom feels the displays Tigers have put in against Ulster and Northampton are the level they will have to aspire to in order to end Clermont’s long run of success.