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Pressure is all on Toulon, says Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs


Toulon will be under intense pressure to live up to their tag as favourites in Sunday's huge Heineken Cup quarter-final.

That is the view of Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs, who says his side will thoroughly enjoy being in the rare position of underdogs for the trip to the Stade Felix Mayol.

Bookies have been offering 4-1 against a Tigers win, and Youngs says it will be a nice experience to play a team who have a "target on their heads".

"You look at their squad and you wonder whether you are playing the Barbarians at times," said the 23-year-old. "It's like fantasy rugby!

"For us, for the first time in a while, we are going into a game as underdogs, and that is a great situation to be in because nobody is expecting us to win.

"When we play Premiership games, we have a target on our heads because it is a cup game for teams that play us.

"The pressure is usually on to win every game, and teams come flying out of the traps.

"Well, Toulon have that reputation of everyone wanting to beat them and, this weekend, they are at home and the pressure is on them to get a win because they are glittered with stars.

"We have huge respect for them, but let's see how they go when the pressure is on them against a side that can match their scrum, their line-out and have a set of backs that can cause them problems if we get it right.

"We have to dig in but the pressure is off us.

"We can chuck the kitchen sink at them and see where we are after 80 minutes.

"We have huge belief within this squad and we are looking forward to going out there and taking it to them.

"It's a one-off game and it is our biggest game of the season."

Tigers will need to silence the passionate Stade Felix Mayol crowd if they are to return with a memorable victory.

While the 15,000-capacity stadium can create one of the most intimidating atmospheres in Europe, Youngs says the vast majority of the Leicester squad have the experience to deal with such a test.

"We have to make sure that we enjoy the day," he said.

"There will be drums, chants and noise and it will be a great place to play, but there is a bigger capacity at Welford Road and many of the guys in our squad have played in international fixtures and World Cups.

"There was more pressure on myself and the other England players in Cardiff the other week than there will be on Sunday.

"The big message is do not become rabbits in the headlights. Look at their team, but don't be overawed by their team-sheet.

"Let's give it a crack and see where we go.

"These are the games we want to play in."

• Read more Tigers news at www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/leicestertigers

Pressure is all on Toulon, says Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs

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