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Manu Tuilagi urges Leicester Tigers team-mates to 'seize the moment'


Manu Tuilagi says Leicester Tigers will have to 'seize the moment' when they take on four-times Heineken Cup winners Toulouse on Sunday.

The 21-year-old centre will be making his first-ever trip to the hotbed of French rugby.

Tuilagi believes that a Tigers win would give their Pool Two Heineken Cup campaign a "dream start".

With a huge salary bill and amazing depth in their squad, Toulouse will, once again, start as one of the favourites to lift Europe's Holy Grail.

And Tuilagi is relishing getting stuck into their star-studded line-up.

"As a rugby player, you want to challenge yourself against the best there is and sides like Toulouse are right at the top," he said.

"These sort of opportunities don't come along very often. You have to take them and make sure that you relish them.

"Personally, I have never been to Toulouse but I have seen and heard what a top side they are.

"And, as a team, we are really excited to get back into the Heineken Cup.

"We didn't do too well in the competition last year and all of the boys and the coaches want to get back into it.

"We want to show everyone that we can compete in the best competition in the northern hemisphere.

"I think we have the squad to do well this year.

"We have been looking forward to this game for ages and have had a really long week with plenty of time to prepare mentally and physically.

"Winning this game would be a dream start for us."

Tuilagi is set to start his fifth game of the season and will be involved in a fascinating battle in the centres with the likes of French internationals Yannick Jauzion and Florian Fritz.

While there will be plenty of other tasty head-to-head battles all over the pitch, Tigers will also have to put up with a cauldron of noise from the 35,000-capacity Municipal Stadium.

"Guys like Toby Flood and Ben Youngs have been there before and they know what it is like which really helps when you go to an intimidating place like that," said Tuilagi.

"I love playing at big grounds and against big sides like that. I really enjoy the challenge and, this week, it's going to be a huge challenge."

Tuilagi also promised that he would be seeking out elder brother Henry this week for some insider advice on how to win in the current Top 14 champions' back yard.

Former Tigers star Henry, 36, has been there on many occasions since joining Perpignan, in 2007.

"They are playing in Italy so he won't be at the game but I will ring him this weekend for some advice," said Tuilagi.

Manu Tuilagi urges Leicester Tigers team-mates to 'seize the moment'

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