Tigers boss Cockerill says pressure is all on Saints

UNDER PRESSURE - Tigers boss Richard Cockerill says the emphasis is on Saints to win Friday night's semi-final
UNDER PRESSURE - Tigers boss Richard Cockerill says the emphasis is on Saints to win Friday night's semi-final

Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill says the pressure is on Saints ahead of Friday’s Aviva Premiership play-off semi-final at Franklin’s Gardens (7.45pm ko).

Cockerill claims Jim Mallinder’s men have had ‘the season of their lives’ and feels they will be favourites to book a place in the May 31 Twickenham showpiece.

Saints have not beaten Tigers in any competition since September, 2010, a run that spans 10 games.

But Cockerill is adamant his team will be the underdogs when they head to Northampton for the latest instalment of the east midlands derby.

“Saracens and Saints have been the best sides all year, Sarries in particular, and we have not earned the right to be at home,” the Tigers director of rugby told the Leicester Mercury.

“We will go to Saints and it will be one hell of a game.

“It’s a local derby in a semi-final and all the pressure is on them – not us.

“They have had the season of their lives – now they have got to finish it off.

“But we know we are a good side on our day and we have done all right against them in the past few years.

“That was some turnaround from them against Wasps, being 13-0 down and going on to win 74-13. Fair play to them.

“They are a good side. If they get momentum, they will punish you. We rested the core of our team against Saracens whereas Saints played most of theirs.”