Leicester Tigers' Ayerza cannot wait for Ospreys clash
The outcome of the battle between Leicester Tigers' front-row and their Ospreys counterparts will go a long way to deciding Sunday's Heineken Cup clash.
At the heart of that confrontation will be Tigers' prop Marcos Ayerza, who is set to go head to head with Welsh international Adam Jones.
It is a scrap that Ayerza is relishing. In fact, it is fair to say that the tougher life gets in the scrum, the more the 29-year-old Argentinian revels in it.
"Everyone knows how important the game is," Ayerza said in the build up to the crunch match at Liberty Stadium.
Cheap Van Insurance For 17,18 & 19 Year Old Drivers - Call Insure365 01782 898188, Free Legal Expenses Cover Included Valued at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Saturday, June 22 2013
"We know how good the Ospreys are and how important it is for us to perform. We want to test ourselves against the best in Europe. That is a challenge we look forward to every year."
He is not in the least bit fazed by the thought of binding with Jones on his home territory.
"I like playing against props who are renowned, who want to scrum and test themselves.
"Adam Jones and those type of guys make it a proper contest," he said.
And Ayerza isn't about to play down the importance of top-class scrummaging. "The scrum is massive," he said.
"In the years that I have been at the club, every time we dominate the scrums the spirit grows and the confidence grows. When the scrum isn't going well it is tougher.
"It is an area we are proud of. It is an area we can dominate, win penalties, territory and a psychological advantage. It is a massive part of our game and, hopefully, on Sunday it will be a great test for us."
In recent games, the strength of Tigers' pack has proved too great for their opponents – only last Friday a late penalty try saw them pip Worcester.
"It is a great team effort and a great reward as a prop and a forward to get a penalty try," Ayerza said.
He is well aware, however, that the Welsh side will do everything in their power not to buckle as they look to reverse a 39-22 defeat they suffered at Welford Road in October.
"Ospreys were a very good side that day but this game is a completely different story," said the Tigers powerhouse.
"They have just beaten Toulouse. They will be firing to play against us."