Leicester Tigers lock Graham Kitchener admits the Aviva Premiership champions will be bigger targets than ever ahead of the new season.
Having sealed their first title since 2010 back in May at Twickenham, Kitchener is fully aware that Leicester are the team everybody wants to defeat.
The former Worcester lock is aware of the threats posed by the likes of Saracens, Northampton and Harlequins, whilst also praising the impact the returning stars from the British and Irish Lions tour will have on the squad.
"This season is going to be hard work," said Kitchener to the Leicester Mercury.
"We are going to be bigger targets than ever this year, especially now that we are champions.
"As ever, there are going to be some really good teams in the Premiership. Saracens are going to be very strong this year with the signings they have made, and so will Northampton. Harlequins will be as good as ever and there will be no easy games.
"We know how tough it will be but that is what we train for.
"It will be nice to look around at the start of the season and see six British and Irish Lions and a host of internationals with lots of experience in the squad.
"It's always confidence-building playing with the Lions guys and internationals.
"They have not been here so far this pre-season though and the guys that have been here are looking strong.
"We spend enough time without the internationals during the season, so it is up to us to win those games when they are not here.
"Sebastien De Chaves is a big lad and has fitted in well. He is young and really enthusiastic in training and that is what you want. He looks like a good athlete and someone that is willing to learn, which is good."