Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers must stay focused because “everyone is trying to take a swing” at them, says second row forward Harry Wells.
Steve Borthwick’s side have a 100% winning record in the Premiership with four victories out of four so far.
They beat Saracens and London Irish in their last two games despite trailing going into the closing stages.
“I think people love it when Leicester aren’t doing particularly well,” Wells told the Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
“So we’ve got to look at our next game [against Worcester] and try to prepare as well as we possibly can for that.”
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Wells has been involved in all four games, starting three of them, and scored the opening Tigers try in their 33-26 win at Gloucester in week two.
“I think the fight in the group is pretty considerable. I think we’ve been a bit lucky the last couple of weeks but we’ve been fighting for each other, fighting to finish games strong,” the 28-year-old said.
“The good teams learn to win ugly, to stay within seven [points], and then you take the lead and it’s about hanging onto it. I think that’s something we’re learning to do.”
“There’s a lot of competition for places in the team which is always really healthy.
“There’s a real desire from 1 to 23 to get better and the boys that aren’t involved in the games, they’re preparing really well and trying to get into the squad. That’s what we need and we’ve not had that previously.”
Head coach Borthwick, skipper Ellis Genge and fly-half George Ford all have key roles in ensuring standards do not slip.
“He [Borthwick] keeps you grounded because everyone is trying to take a swing at us,” Wells said.
On Ford, he added: “There’s no-one else I’ve played with that has the ability to control the game like he does, or has the knowledge to direct the boys.
“And there’s the way he interacts with people as well, making sure they’re on task all the time.”
Wells won his first England cap against Canada in July and is hoping Leicester’s success might result in further chances.
“It’s exceptionally competitive [for places]. It was a dream come true to be involved in the summer. I’m very happy that we’re doing well at Leicester and I think that’s my focus,” he said.
“If I do get another opportunity, I’ll take it with both hands but I’m not getting hung up on it – I’m just going to try and be as good a player as I can be.”