Ollie Chessum
Leicester’s Ollie Chessum hopes to win his first cap during the Six Nations

Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick has backed his squad’s strength in depth to see them through during the Six Nations tournament.

Six Tigers players are in the England squad, who play their first game away to Scotland on 5 February.

The Six Nations lasts until 19 March and Leicester have seven league and cup matches in that period.

“You want competition for places throughout your squad,” Borthwick told BBC Radio Leicester.

“But you want collaborative competition, everybody working in one direction, and you want depth because there are always different factors, whether that’s injury, whether that’s international call-ups, and that’s difficult to predict.”

Leicester lead the Premiership by eight points, having won 11 of their 12 games so far and have 100% records in the European Champions Cup (P4 W4) and Premiership Rugby Cup (P2 W2).

But Ellis Genge, Joe Heyes, Ollie Chessum, Ben Youngs and Freddie Steward were all named in England coach Eddie Jones’ initial Six Nations squad and fly-half George Ford, the Premiership’s leading points scorer with 148, was added to replace injured Owen Farrell.

Leicester are next in action away to Sale on Sunday followed by four further league games in February, with three of them at home.

“We’ve seen growth in some young players exceptionally quickly, and I’m delighted for them,” said Borthwick.

“You’ve got to plan as well as you possibly can with the information you have and within the salary cap constraints.

“We’ve had to work hard to bring players through, we’ve had to recruit externally, we’ve had young players who’ve had lots of exposure early in their careers which has been terrific.

“That’s the situation we’ve found ourselves in and we just deal with it as well as we can.”

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