Heineken Cup quarter-final: Richard Cockerill on Leicester's clash with Toulon
Richard Cockerill is confident his Leicester Tigers side are ready for the relentless physical challenge of Toulon
Last Updated: 07/04/13 4:40pm
Toulon boast a host of world class players in their starting XV, including the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Giteau, Andrew Sheridan Bakkies Botha and Juan Fernandez Lobbe. Such is their strength in depth Wales prop Gethin Jenkins and France international centre Maxime Mermoz are only on the bench for Sunday's clash.
But Cockerill is undaunted by the challenge awaiting his team against one of the tournament's favourites at the Stade Felix Mayol.
"Toulon have a great side and a lot of depth with great players," Cockerill said. "But we have very, very good players who are certainly good enough to compete at this level too, and the sum of our parts is very good.
"Toulon are physical and they are relentless - that is the way they play - and clearly we will be underdogs. But we won't go there afraid, we will go with respect and we will have a crack at them."
Leicester captain Toby Flood will come up against former England and Newcastle colleague Wilkinson for the first time. And the Tigers No.10 is looking forward to testing himself against his former mentor.
"It will be enjoyable," he said. "I think it will be fun to come up against him. These games, at a place like Stade Mayol, playing against guys you know like Delon and Steffon Armitage and Jonny are great.
"Toulon control territory very well and they will aim to build momentum, and Jonny will orchestrate that.
"He will want to play quick, on top of us. Any time their momentum stalls, he will just take two or three steps back, drop it on to his right or left foot and bang it through the posts.
"He looks just as sharp as he was in the past, and just as hungry. As he has said, it is all about whether he can still give something to the side. He's hitting more breakdowns in a game than most 10s do in a week!
"He's always been like that, thinking about what he can give, not what he can gain. He is definitely giving something to that Toulon side, and that is what matters to him."