BATH number eight Zach Mercer says Leicester Tigers are still a ‘world class team’ and the Rec side will have to be at their best to pick up a win in Todd Blackadder’s final game in charge, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

Director of rugby Blackadder is leaving for Japanese club Toshiba once the season has ended and Mercer is desperate to secure a Champions Cup place for next season as a leaving present for his boss.

The 21-year-old knows there is more than just points on the line in the Premiership season finale.

Mercer said: “Some people think that because it’s the last game of the season, there’s not much to play for, but we have a lot to play for.

“There’s the European qualification up for grabs and it will be the last time this group of players and coaches will all be together, so we want to finish on a high.

“All we’ve got to focus on is getting the win and the rest will take care of itself.

“We’ve still got to go to Welford Road and it’s not an easy place to go and play rugby.

“Everyone says that Leicester have under-performed this year – which they have – but they’re still a world-class team that are going to be hard to break down on Saturday.”

Bath have suffered a largely inconsistent and frustrating season, but could still finish fifth if Harlequins lose at Wasps and they pick up a bonus-point win themselves.

The Blue, Black and Whites are almost assured of a top-six finish with any win at Welford Road, and Mercer wants at least four points to act as momentum into next season too.

He said: “We need to make sure we’re mentally ready and we’re not saying it’s a nothing game.

“We’ve got to make sure we go out there and fight for the last 80 minutes of the season and then we can recover, have time off and smash it next season.”