Jordan Crane: We want to be best in Europe
Jordan Crane believes Leicester Tigers can challenge the greatest powers in Europe this season.
Crane is on the bench for today's Aviva Premiership clash with Worcester at Welford Road.
His battle with Thomas Waldrom for the No.8 position will be just one of many fascinating duels within the camp this season.
Crane thinks those fights for starting shirts are indicative of just how far the club can go this season.
"We have made some great signings to push us forwards to where we want to be," said the 26-year-old.
"We want to be Premiership champions and we want to be pushing for the Heineken Cup and to be Europe's best team.
"With the sort of squad we have this year, there is no reason why we can't do that.
"Last year, we had loads of injuries but our team spirit got us through to the final.
"This year, the squad is looking exciting and there is competition in every spot.
"It's a great group to be around and you could name two players for every position, sometimes three.
"It just shows what we have got and hopefully everyone is up for the challenge and can push each other on."
Crane has bounced back from knee reconstruction and his arrival back on the scene will be like a new signing to director of rugby Richard Cockerill, who is a huge fan of the 17-stone back-rower's direct style of play.
After such a long spell out of the game, Crane said the Leicester environment was the ideal place to test the success of his rehab.
"My knee is good now and I am raring to go," he said. "Leicester is definitely the place to test it with a few big mauls in training and, fingers crossed, it's all going well.
"I was a little bit nervous at the start of my return to the training field but, when you are doing rugby matters, it takes your mind off the injury because you are thinking about other things.
"When you are in the thick of things and you need to make a tackle, you don't have time to think about things, you just do it.
"You have to get stuck in or you will get hurt. I'm back into doing the same as everyone else but I have to keep on top of my rehab.
"In terms of any limitations, of what I can or can't do, I can do anything as long as I don't go too far and do too much.
"I am just gradually building into the season and that will keep me fit for longer.
"Being water boy kept me part of the team last season but nothing can replicate being out there.
"You feel a bit of meal ticket not playing, especially with the length of time I was out for. But it is great to be back."