Depth of our squad will be tested – Leicester Tigers' Chuter
The depth of Leicester Tigers' squad is going to be tested to the full through the course of this month.
February sees the Premiership title challengers facing three key matches while a clutch of top-quality players are on international duty in the Six Nations.
London Welsh are first up at Welford Road this afternoon and second-placed Saracens also visit Leicester this month with a trip to table-topping Harlequins sandwiched in the middle.
March then begins with the visit of relegation-fighting Sale Sharks before there is a break in Tigers' schedule.
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Facing those kind of challenges during the international period is something that Tigers have become used to over the years.
"We are well-versed," said hooker George Chuter. "The squad is assembled with that in mind. We have players away at the Six Nations. but we also have people to cover for them.
"The England Saxons guys are coming back to ease the burden, but we know the squad will still be tested with the likes of Harlequins and Saracens coming up.
"We are used to dealing with it."
Not that Leicester are looking beyond London Welsh, who are currently third from bottom.
Chuter knows that whatever side Tigers field at this afternoon they will face a determined Welsh outfit, who have acquitted themselves well after earning promotion last season.
"They have been together for a couple of years now and have got the makings of a good team. They have won some games which people thought they wouldn't," he said.
"I think that shows the gap between the Premiership and Championship is closing – Exeter have also come up in recent seasons and done a fantastic job and now London Welsh are making a really good case for their involvement in the Premiership. That is a good sign of the depth of English rugby."
Away from the bigger picture, though, Tigers have to concentrate on completing the double over Welsh, who they defeated 38-13 at Oxford in the first match of the league season back in September.
Chuter is anticipating a physical encounter. "Up front, they are very abrasive," he said. "Every team they have come up against this season they have given them a tough game. They have a bit more Premiership experience now and will try and play, if we give them the time and space. We are going to have to be near our best to win."