Jordan Crane adds extra spice to big clash
Leicester Tigers are "buzzing" about welcoming Aviva Premiership champions Harlequins to Welford Road this evening, says Jordan Crane.
The No.8 makes his first start of the season and captains the side in the absence of Geordan Murphy.
Crane says that he and the rest of the squad cannot wait to lock horns with the side that beat them in last year's Grand Final at Twickenham.
"They have run in a few tries in their first few games and they are champions so it will be great to welcome them to Welford Road and we can see how good they are," said the 26-year-old.
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"Everyone is buzzing about getting stuck into them.
"There will be a little bit of extra spice in there because of the final last year. It will be nice to let them know that we are still about."
Both sides go into the game unbeaten after the first three rounds of the new Premiership season.
Quins have gleaned a maximum of 15 points from their opening matches against Wasps, London Welsh and Sale while Leicester had bonus-point wins over London Welsh and Worcester before last Saturday's 9-9 draw with Saracens.
Crane is not expecting a repeat of the defence-dominated play served up at Wembley when Quins arrive. Conor O'Shea's side were second to Leicester in tries scored last season and their fast, counter-attacking approach to the game helped create an aggregate of 58 points-per-game during the teams' three league meetings last season.
"Quins are completely different to Saracens and like to run it around," said Crane.
"They had a settled squad last year and key guys stayed fit which did them no harm at all.
"Their team revolves around half-backs Nick Evans and Danny Care and they have some good forwards and good backs too."
Crane has a glint in his eye when speaking about setting the record straight for last season's final defeat and, with Quins having won the corresponding fixture last season at Welford Road during the World Cup, Tigers will not be shy in coming forward.
"We are looking forward to testing ourselves against the champions," he said.
"We have been going along nicely. We have had some big changes to the team with people leaving and new guys coming in. But we should be getting into our rhythm now.
"We got off the line well in defence last week and our speed was good. We got some first-up shots which is massive for our defence. If we can bring the attack with that, we will be all right against Quins."