Jasper Wiese the star as Leicester battle past Edinburgh to make Champions Cup quarter-final

Leicester Tigers 16 Edinburgh 6

Publicly suggesting that you can knock 10 bells out of Jasper Wiese turns out to not be the smartest strategy. The attempt by Steve Diamond, Edinburgh’s lead rugby consultant, to rev up his pack ahead of facing Leicester on a miserable Friday night was certainly well-intentioned.

Diamond’s comments were naturally whispered into Wiese’s ear by Leicester’s head coach Richard Wigglesworth and the results when the No 8 came off the bench were unquestionably effective, with Diamond’s comments turning out to have the opposite effect. Wiese scooped up a loose ball before rampaging his way through the Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie and somehow having the nimble footwork despite his size to finish in the corner.

Wiese’s arrival came earlier than planned, brought on at half-time as an injury replacement for Olly Cracknell, and the challenge will be managing the game time of a player who Leicester will need every ounce of impact out of entering the stage of the season when trophies are on the line. Ritchie, reflecting afterwards, noted that Wiese had been Leicester’s best player this season.

“Those X-factor moments are exceptional, we have seen that from him before. Maybe not the twinkle toes, but certainly the power,” Wigglesworth noted.

Coming off the bench to win player of the match and make 10 tackles made for a lively 40 minutes, and if Leicester are to win in Dublin next weekend against Leinster, their most likely quarter-final date before today’s games are played on Saturday, they will need Wiese at his best.