It's the clash of the weekend – Louis Deacon on Leicester Tigers v Harlequins
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill summed up the situation perfectly for Premiership clubs during the Six Nations.
"It's about winning", said the director of rugby after his side had just beaten London Welsh 28-12 with eight players missing due to the internationals.
The statement was perfectly illustrated as, by the end of last Saturday evening, Tigers had leapfrogged today's opponents Harlequins and Saracens, who come to Welford Road next Saturday, to go top.
Champions Harlequins were surprisingly beaten at home by Wasps and Saracens suffered a shock defeat at London Irish.
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As Cockerill is only too well aware, results like this are always possible during the Six Nations
Tigers lock Louis Deacon, who is captain today, said having experienced heads at Welford Road makes the captain's job much easier when the internationals are away.
Tigers have seven players away with England's Six Nations squad – Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Tom Youngs, Ben Youngs, Toby Flood, Thomas Waldrom and Manu Tuilagi – plus prop Martin Castrogiovanni away with Italy.
But even without their star names bolstering their ranks, Tigers were too good for London Welsh last Saturday.
They will also be boosted for today's top-of-the-table clash with Harlequins as Flood, Tuilagi and Waldrom have been made eligible for selection and all play.
Deacon said that, even with so many senior players absent, his role as captain does not change much.
"There are still a lot of leaders around," he said. "Geordan Murphy is still around. There are a lot of experienced guys, like George Chuter, who are not necessarily playing at the minute but they still lead by example in training and the guys listen to them because of their experience.
"Having those guys around makes it a lot easier for me and I just try to get on with the playing.
"What we pride ourselves on is that we never really make any excuses when we do lose about players being on international duty – we just get on with it and everyone who steps up into the squad does as good a job as the guy who was there before.
"It's always a good period for us because, mentally, the guys really want to do well and don't want to let the club down or their team-mates, and it is generally a good period for us when people do step up."
Tigers now have the chance to cement their place at the top of the tree as they face the second- and third-placed sides over the next two weeks.
"We've got two tough games coming up, Harlequins this week and Saracens next week," said Deacon.
"It's always going to be tough. Harlequins have got bragging rights over us at the minute – they have won the two games we've played them.
"I've not actually played them the last three times so I am looking forward to getting stuck into them."
He also acknowledged the importance of these games as Tigers look to cement their place in the top two.
"There are five, six teams that are around the top that are all fighting to get into the top four and it's tough to get in there year after year," he said. "But you want a home semi-final so to get into the top two is key."