12:00pm Friday 15th February 2013
Harlequins prop Mark Lambert insists the days of fearing the Leicester Tigers front row are long gone.
Having spent his entire career at the Stoop, 27-year-old Lambert admits he would have felt anxious about facing a much-feared Tigers pack in seasons gone by.
It took until 2011 for Harlequins to record a second Premiership win over the Tigers since the tournament began in 1997.
But since then Quins have won three of the past four clashes between the two teams and been crowned Aviva Premiership champions in the process as they got the better of the Tigers in last year’s final.
And Lambert admits he cannot wait for Saturday’s visit from the Welford Road outfit.
“When I was younger you look at these games with a bit more trepidation, but as you get older you relish the challenge of playing against them,” he said.
“You aim to go out and do as best you can against whoever it may could be whether it’s [Martin] Castrogiovanni, [Logovi’i] Mulipola or [Marcos] Ayerza.
“We are looking forward to it and it will be a big test for us. You always want to beat Leicester.
“If we win at Leicester it is just four points like if we win any other Premiership game. We have had some good battles in the past few years.
“We are in a position at the moment where we have got eight games left in the Premiership and everyone is desperate to win as many games as possible.”
Harlequins host Leicester having lost 17-16 to London Wasps last time out – a game which saw them go 14-0 down to first half tries from Tom Varndell and Christian Wade.
Quins remain on course to achieve an unprecedented treble, currently joint top of the Aviva Premiership and well-placed in the latter stages of the Heineken Cup and the LV= Cup.
But Lambert stresses continual progression is the aim of the game.
“Against Wasps we made a couple of errors in the first 10 minutes and made some poor decisions and Wasps took advantage of that,” he added.
“We were 14 points down and you can’t afford to do that against the top teams.
“We are always looking to improve as a team. If you spend any time with Conor O’Shea you know that there is no such thing as a perfect performance for Quins. As a group we are always trying to improve and get better.”
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