‘We’re in a good place’ – Slater

Date published: April 23 2016

Leicester Tigers captain Ed Slater believes that the Welford Road side has what it takes to go all the way in the Champions Cup.

Tigers thumped the defending Top 14 champions Stade Français 41-13 two weeks ago at Welford Road, which set up a semi-final clash with Racing 92 on Sunday. 

Slater, who joined Tigers in 2010, has made more than 100 appearances for the Premiership side and reckons they find themselves in an ideal position. 

"We are very happy with where we are in the league and the performance against Stade Francais in the Champions Cup quarter-final was extremely strong," Slater told EPC Rugby.

"We're in a good place. We didn't get a good result against Wasps (early March) and were in a difficult position. 

"But we dug through it and got some good performances in big-pressure games like Saracens, Northampton away and then Stade."

A win for Tigers, against Dan Carter's Racing at The City Ground in Nottingham, will see them reach a European final for the first time since 2009.

"Now we have something riding on every game we play but that's exactly how we want it as players," added Slater.

"That's how you win trophies."

Despite the match being hosted at a neutral ground, the Tigers utility forward believes that there will more green than light blue in the stands. 

Carter, the current World Rugby Player of Year has been instrumental for Racing's success since he joined them at the end of last year.

Slater acknowledges that Carter has been influential for their semi-final opponents and he likens his presence to that of the Johnny Wilkinson and Toulon combination. 

"We've got some home advantage," he said.

"There will be plenty of Tigers fans but the City Ground will as unfamiliar to us as it is Racing.

"It's going to be a huge battle. Racing have a whole team of top-class players including the best in the world in Dan Carter.

"It just shows the strength of a club like Racing that they can bring someone of his calibre. He had brought a sense of calm and organisation with his decision-making and Racing's backs are feeding off that.

"It's very similar to the effect Jonny Wilkinson had at Toulon."