Slater rallies the troops

Date published: April 17 2017

Ed Slater wants Leicester to go one better this year and win the Premiership, having missed out on the title for the past three years running.

Since winning the championship against Northampton Saints in 2012-2013, they have been starved of silverware and Slater admits this has been eating at him.

“Maybe as a younger guy you take that a little bit for granted and so missing out on the final for the last four years really sits with me,” the 28-year-old told Premiership Rugby.

“I crave success again. All players want to win trophies especially in the Aviva Premiership which I believe is getting harder and harder.

“It would be an achievement to get to the final but there is still a lot of rugby between now and then.”

The Tigers have not had it all their own way this season. In fact, they have managed to stay in the top four despite having director of Rugby Richard Cockerill and head coach Aaron Mauger both leave during the season.

Wasps, Exeter and Saracens are already ensured a place in the semi-finals and Leicester look the likeliest to fill the final semi-final spot.

Their comprehensive 30-3 victory against Newcastle Falcons has left the Tigers four points clear in the race for top four.

And with all the off-field distractions having threatened to derail their season, lock Slater has paid tribute to his side’s resilience in the face of adversity and ability to consistently make the top four.

“It always means a lot to get into the semi-finals,” he said.

“Last year was 12 semi-finals in a row so to do it under the circumstances this year where two coaches have left the club would mean a lot.

“From the outside, it is a great achievement but as a squad we have never really wavered from what we are trying to achieve.

“We are a tight squad and our target is always to finish in the top four and have a chance to lift the trophy.”