Leicester Tigers back-row forward Hanro Liebenberg has declared that his side’s Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 triumph at ASM Clermont Auvergne last season is largely irrelevant as the Gallagher Premiership club gear up for a Round 3 trip to Stade Marcel-Michelin on Friday night.
Leicester won 29-10 at the TOP 14 side before going on to secure a 56-27 aggregate victory in 2021-22 and have drawn first blood again against the French team in this season’s pool stage, winning 23-16 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in Round 2.
But Liebenberg warned that Leicester, who come into the game off the back of a crushing 45-26 loss at Newcastle Falcons in the Premiership, cannot afford any complacency as they chase a third successive win in Pool B.
The standings after 2 Rounds of the #HeinekenChampionsCup
Did your team 📈?
Did they 📉?
Did they =?
Who is having the most memorable season so far? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/piH4B7wsTs
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 18, 2022
“It never gets easier – it doesn’t matter if you are in the Premiership or playing in Europe,” he said.
“Clermont are a team who pride themselves on being successful at home in Europe and we know they will be looking for a big performance.
“Last season was a memory we made together there, but doesn’t count for much this season. It’s a new season and new group who need to work hard next week to be better than we were today. That’s all we’ll be focused on.”
Fly-half Handré Pollard, who has experience of playing domestically at Clermont having joined Leicester from Montpellier Hérault Rugby, was equally cautious of the threat the home side will pose.
“It’s a tough place to go,” he stated. “They will just pass all over the pitch and the crowd is just unreal- we know their history.
“Really excited, it’s always nice going there, it’s a great experience for a player, but it’s going to be tough. They’ll be wanting to get one back on us.”