Thomas Waldrom salutes Leicester Tigers' character
Thomas Waldrom said Leicester Tigers' last-gasp win against Worcester spoke volumes about the character of the squad at Welford Road.
After being 14-0 down after just 22 minutes, Richard Cockerill's men fought back to 14-12 with just a minute to spare at Sixways on Friday night.
A powerful drive from the Tigers pack forced the Warriors over their own line and resulted in referee JP Doyle awarding their second penalty try of the game, which allowed Tigers to get an incredible win.
It was their third consecutive win of the festive period, and took them top of the Aviva Premiership.
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"It speaks volumes for the character of the squad," said Waldrom. "People were probably writing us off with a minute to go.
"But that is why we train hard as a team, for those opportunities. Maybe five or six weeks ago, we might not have taken those opportunities. So to take them is pleasing.
"We left it until the last minute, which we didn't really want to do, but we back ourselves to do the hard graft and it paid off again for us so we're pretty pleased with that.
"You never write yourself off until the final whistle. We have got some great players across the field, and all we needed was a chance and, to be fair, we took that chance."
Such strength of character will be something Tigers may have to draw upon over the next two weeks as they face Ospreys and Toulouse in their final two Heineken Cup games, which will decide who qualifies for the knock-out stage of the competition.
Waldrom said he also believes it will be something they will have to draw upon throughout the season.
"I think it's going to have to happen all season," said the England No.8. "It might be crucial at the end of the season that everyone has put their hand up when it matters and contributed.
"We know that Ospreys away is going to be a tough day at the office, and then another massive one at home to Toulouse.
"We know it's going to be a very tough two weeks ahead and Cockers is going to have a very tough decision picking his team, but that's what you want. Everyone wants to be playing in the big games in Europe.
"Everyone wants to be a part of it, but there are only three back-row spots, so it is all about fighting for those positions and performing as a team.
"Even if you aren't a part of it, you have got to train well and support the guys during the week.
"Everyone wants to be out there playing and when you are given the opportunity you want to take it with both hands. One to 50 train hard week in, week out, just to get the opportunity."