Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

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Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Welly on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 12:57 pm

First topic message reminder :

Back Room
CEO: Simon Cohen
Head of Rugby operations: Gled Glynn

1st Team
Head Coach: Matt O'Connor
Scrum Coach: Boris Stankovich
Defence Coach: Brett Deacon
Forwards coach: Richard Blaze
Backs Coach: Geordan Murphy

2017/18 Squad: (Sorted alphabetically)
Props: Bateman, Cilliers, Cole, Genge, Mulipola, Rizzo
Hooker: McGuigan, Thacker, Youngs,
Lock: Barrow, Fitzgerald, Kitchener, Slater, Wells
Back Row: Croft, Evans, Hamilton, Kalamafoni, Mapapalangi, McCaffrey, O'Connor, Ryan, Williams
Scrum Half: Harrison, Kitto, Youngs
Fly half: G.Ford, J.Ford
Centre: Catchpole, Malouf, Owens, Smith, Toomua, Tuilagi,
Wing/Full Back: Brady, Holmes, Tait, Thompstone, Worth Veainu,

Signings: G.Ford (Bath), J.Ford (Yorkshire), Holmes (Yorkshire), Kalamafoni (Gloucester), Ryan (Leinster), Owen (Scarlets), Malouf (Australia sevens)
Leavers: Ayerza (Retirement), Balmain (Gloucester), Betham (Clermont), Burns (Bath), Mermoz (Falcons), Pietersen (Toulon), Roberts (Cardiff), Williams (Gloucester)

Rumoured OUT:
Croft, Kitto, McCaffrey, Pieterson, Tait.

Rumoured IN:
Fekitoa, D.Mackenzie, M.Mackenzie, Mafi.

Development Squad
Props: Betts, Grahamslaw, Heyes, Traynor
Hooker: Mahoney
Locks: Lewis, Maksymiw
Back Row: Reffell, Tuilagi
Scrum Half: White, Simmons
Fly Half: Hardwick,
Centre: Thacker,
Wing/Full Back: J.Olowofela,

Leavers: Brugnara (N/A), Bryant (Jersey), Yawayawa (Glasgow)
Joiners: Grahamslaw, Hardwick, Heyes, Reffell, Traynor,

European Pool 4:
Castres
Leicester Tigers
Munster
Racing


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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Welly on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 8:42 am

I mean he wasn't given a deal by tigers hence why he focused full time on studies in the first place.

But we have done it enough times to think it could happen.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by nathan on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 10:22 pm

Anyone at the game? Looked like tait went off injured, looked like a hamstring issue

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 4:11 pm

Looked like Fred Tuilagi jnr went off with a knock as well. A shame as he's finally showing some long overdue improvements in work rate.

I was quite happy with the game as a whole. Especially some new signings, returnees and youngsters.

It was great to see Logo back. Shazam back to his usual standards following injury. Ryan and Kalamafoni looked good. Benn Betts looks ready for first team rugby. Same with Ben White too, he should be 3rd choice 9 and if so it leaves Kitto as a spare man really. Jonah Holmes looks very dangerous. Genge taking back off where he left last season. Joe Ford looks solid although still looks a 3rd choice. Matt Toomua back on the field.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 20 Aug 2017, 9:33 am

I've heard some positive things about the performances of our younger players in the friendlies. Hopefully Betts, Wells, Thacker, Tuilagi, White etc are going to get a chance to stake a claim in the team this season.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 4:12 pm

McGuigan out for two weeks with a thumb injury. More concerning it seems that Brendan O'Connor has suffered another concussion. A real shame as he has a history with them and is a guy who should complement Kalamafoni at 8 well.

YBY, George Ford and Manu expected to play a part this weekend which is great news. Hopefully Thompstone features too as he's yet to play during pre-season.

1.Genge 2.Youngs 3.Mulipola 4.Barrow 5.Kitchener 6.Williams 7.Ryan 8.Kalamafoni
9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.May 12.Toomua 13.Tuilagi 14.Thompstone 15.Veainu

It would be quite a change from recent seasons if we could start with that against Bath...

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 7:35 am

When did Slater leave? Totally missed that, class act.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by nathan on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 8:34 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:When did Slater leave? Totally missed that, class act.

Swap deal for May

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 10:38 am

You have May?? Wtf, this sounds more like something on our AP game. Good deal all round I guess, are you happy with it?

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Welly on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 11:21 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:You have May?? Wtf, this sounds more like something on our AP game. Good deal all round I guess, are you happy with it?

Keep up at the back Very Happy

Personally i am happy.

slater is a class act but the gap of quailty between the starting and squad locks is alot better than our wings (even with Slater gone).

Our locks without Slater
Barrow, Kitchener, Fitzgerald, Wells, Williams

Our wings without May
Thompstone, Brady, Malouf, Holmes,


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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 12:15 pm

Great deal for both sides I think Welly. I have Slater on the AP game (paired with Whitelock Smile), I'd swap for May.

Be interesting to see if he kicks on.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 1:56 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Great deal for both sides I think Welly. I have Slater on the AP game (paired with Whitelock Smile), I'd swap for May.

Be interesting to see if he kicks on.

Slater was amazing off the bench for Glaws, he's a class act who didn't get international representation due to injuries. I'm hoping May has a similar impact for us this afternoon.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Welly on Mon 04 Sep 2017, 2:01 pm

Leicester Tigers Development XV (v Worcester Cavaliers, Sixways, Monday 7.30pm)
15 Jordan Olowofela
14 George Catchpole
13 Gareth Owen
12 Charlie Thacker
11 Jonah Holmes
10 Tom Hardwick
9 Harry Simmons
1 Kyle Traynor
2 Harry Mahoney
3 Ben Betts
4 Sam Lewis
5 Joe Maksymiw
6 Tom Croft (c)
7 Will Evans
8 Valentino Mapapalangi

Replacements
16 Callum Lynch
17 Owen Hills
18 Joe Heyes
19 Toby Hutchinson
20 Fred Tuilagi
21 Jonno Kitto
22 Matt Travers
23 Jon Hughes

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 04 Sep 2017, 3:36 pm

Nice mix in that A league team, experience and youth blended well. One or two of those older players might fancy impressing MOC and trying to force their way into the starting line up. Croft would be confident of improving the lineout options and I was underwhelmed by BOC  (though his stats do show his best work is generally unseen) so young Evans might want to remind the coaches of his abilities.

Is George Worth injured or out on loan?

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Welly on Mon 04 Sep 2017, 5:19 pm

Not out on loan.

Maybe injured.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Welly on Mon 04 Sep 2017, 10:06 pm

well that was one sided.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 05 Sep 2017, 7:16 am

The Worcester team looked young and inexperienced and played like it. Tigers were 12 nil down after 15 mins though.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Wed 06 Sep 2017, 4:18 pm

From the Merc:

Fitzgerald out for 3 months following knee surgery.

Brady in full training, expected to be available for Gloucs in two weeks.

Tombstone 4 weeks away from being available.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Wed 06 Sep 2017, 4:18 pm

No word on McGuigan yet. If he is available then personally I'd start him. I thought OTY looked understandable short of match fitness against Bath. I'd be very tempted to get Croft in the 23 after the line-out capitulations at the weekend, coming up against Lawes won't be any less of a challenge.

1.Genge 2.McGuigan/Youngs 3.Cole 4.Barrow 5.Kitchener 6.Williams 7.O'Connor 8.Kalamafoni
9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.May 12.Toomua 13.Tuilagi 14.Holmes 15.Veainu

16.Thacker 17.Mulipola 18.Bateman 19.Croft 20.Hamilton 21.Harrison 22.Smith 23.Tait

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 07 Sep 2017, 7:12 am

Tuilagi out for 3 months with a knee injury?

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by TightHEAD on Thu 07 Sep 2017, 10:56 am

Manu Injured again!

Time to call it a day.
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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Welly on Fri 08 Sep 2017, 8:12 pm

Wonder if we might see the return of big Pohe?

Currently at Coventry I heard.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 08 Sep 2017, 9:14 pm

Welly wrote: Wonder if we might see the return of big Pohe?

Currently at Coventry I heard.

His family is still in the area, is it his uncle that coaches at Loughborough Town? He was in France last I heard so back to Coventry isn't ideal. His fitness and work rate was always his issue.  Shows those are good and he'll get a decent contract somewhere.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Welly on Sun 10 Sep 2017, 12:20 pm

Worrying stuff.
Blaze, Is he experienced enough to handle this? is he good enough? IMO no to both of those questions.

Tigers IMO need to sign
Priority
1 A top Forwards coach PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
2 A top Lock
3 A top 8
4 A top back rower

Our back row seems to have 4 6's, 3 7's, 1 8 (Who has no prem experience)
It needs re balancing and adding depth.

Really i would only keep ATM, Williams, Evans, Croft (On the right contract). Hamilton maybe as depth.

O'Connor is good IMO but would his cap be better off elsewhere with Evans and Reffell coming through?

I would like for us to sign a top, and go after a top all rounder, not a cheap all rounder. Someone like a Harrison mould at saints that could be brought off the bench to make a impact no matter if it is 6,7,8.





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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 10 Sep 2017, 2:09 pm

I think the pack has a lot more potential than it's showing. A quality forwards coach who can get them running some angles and interplay with aggression. Get that and we'll be flying.

Acquisition list for me:

1. Forwards coach (rumours the Hurricanes forwards coach wants a European spell, he'd be good).
2. Big and abrasive backrow, number 8 (still!).
3. Injury replacement for Manu (short term signing of a proper unit).
4. Goal kicking fullback, ideally someone to mentor Worth.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Sun 10 Sep 2017, 3:13 pm

1. Forwards coach

John Plumtree is looking at a stint in the Prem according to TRP. He'd be a fantastic acquisition. Whether he'd want a head coach role for hemispheres is one question. Whether or not he'd work well with MOC who is a well known acquired taste is another.

2. A top quality replacement centre ASAP

A big ball carrier would be great. Just a quality centre would fit though. Mermoz added a lot in a short time. Many feared the back line recruitment lacked depth.

3. A brute of a second row

The number 8 situation feels in a similar place to over the summer. Signing a top 8 is easier said than done when they cost a hell of a lot and there aren't many around. When it was rumoured Gorgodze was on the move I was desperate for Tigers to sign him, he'd have fitted the bill perfectly with his versatility and quality.

As it stands, it's more realistic if a brute of a second row were signed to get the front 5 functioning. Getting the forwards working in the tight then using Kalamafoni coming off it is probably the best we can hope for mid season when top 8s are short on the ground.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Sun 10 Sep 2017, 3:25 pm

Other notes I'd take from the first two games outside of the obvious limp forward display and terrible line-out:

- The forwards as a whole have looked better when Mike Williams came on in both games. Kalamafoni especially perked up a bit with another carrier on. Genge and Barrow both improve with other physical players around them.

- Sam Harrison should be used for a tactical change earlier if our forwards aren't offering a platform.

- Ford and Toomua should have taken more pressure off Youngs in tactical kicking stakes. Control of territory has been non-existent in both games.

- Malouf has lots of potential with his pace and strength in contact. His lack of understanding with the 15 man code is very noticeable as well with penalties given away. If Brady is available for Gloucs I'd start him. If not I'd like to see what Holmes can do.

- The line-out is killing us, Croft is fit and deserves a shot in those circumstances.

- I find myself increasingly curious of how our scrum would go with Bateman at hooker. Equally I'd be happy to see Thacker at 7 and throwing into the line-out.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by Welly on Sun 10 Sep 2017, 3:59 pm

Youngs wants to kick.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 10 Sep 2017, 4:07 pm

After Bateman's incompetent contribution yesterday I'd be looking at when Cilliers is going to be fit again. He certainly wouldn't be in my mind for further contribution. Thacker also played very well at hooker and for all the Hartley love in from the pundits it looked like Thacker was comfortable in the scrum. I hope he starts next week, he deserves the opportunity.

Mike Williams looked excellent off the bench vs Bath but against Saints less so. The card was deserved and dim. He nor any of the other backrow forwards offered any go forward ball in hand.

I too would like to see Croft brought in. Kitchener ended the lineout woes by calling to himself repeatedly but that's not a long term option. It's worrying he lost confidence in his team mates to claim the ball at the lineout and after he left the field the lineout did not go well and you can't look at the hooker when it sloppy slap downs and the opposition pinching it from your grasp.

I agree on Malouf. He looks like he'll be a good signing but needs to do his learning in the A team and not the first team.

Youngs is happy to kick but the tactics are centred around keeping the ball in hand not playing for territory. I think that's hurting us.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Sun 10 Sep 2017, 5:19 pm

Bateman has been one of Tigers more shrewd acquisitions over the last few years IMO. He covers the whole front row, has steadily improved in the scrum and offers lots in the loose. His ball carrying and handling skills are underrated. The criticism he's taken on the offy especially for a poor 10 minutes in an already lost game and terrible team performance has been very fickle indeed.

The Williams card was deserved but accumulative. Dim yes but more a factor of a physical player trying to add something to a limp fringe defence. I'd actually argue that Hartley's challenge on Genge that ended with him on his arse was the same sort of no arms challenge. There was no attempt to wrap the arms and he led solely with the shoulder. Difference was that Hartley went flying. Still a stupid challenge from Williams, deserving of the accumulative yellow.

Youngs may want to kick but has done so poorly in both games. I'm a big Ben fan and his box kicking is what has set him apart from the other England 9s for several years. He has kicked best for England when Ford and Farrell have been playing to release pressure. Not using Ford and Toomua in the same way has been frustrating.

1.Genge 2.Thacker 3.Mulipola 4.Barrow 5.Williams 6.Croft 7.O'Connor 8.Kalamafoni
9.Youngs 10.G Ford 11.May 12.Toomua 13.Smith 14.Brady 15.Veainu

16.McGuigan 17.Bateman 18.Cole 19.Wells 20.Hamilton 21.Harrison 22.J Ford 23.Tait

I'd be interested to see how that went against Gloucs.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Sun 10 Sep 2017, 5:47 pm

Due to props being fit he has been a bit forgotten, but with Cole and Logo both needing their work loads managed it would be very good to get Rizzo back sooner rather than later.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 9:47 am

O'Connor won't be available for the weekend, HIA test for Kitch and Youngs to come before the game.

BBC reporting we are looking at an injury dispensation for Manu. Any guesses?

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 18 Sep 2017, 3:40 pm

Blaze resigns citing personal reasons. Brett Deacon is combining roles in the short term whilst we look for a replacement.

Hmm, are we in for another season of coaching merry go round? Matt O'Connor's family are still in Australia and not arriving until Christmas so maybe he hasn't ruled it out either.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Mon 18 Sep 2017, 5:45 pm

Paging Mr Plumtree please. A fantastic forwards coach, known to be searching for a Prem stint and has the nous to be a head coach down the line.

It's always a shame when someones personal life intervenes in professional commitments. Putting personal life first is almost always the right way to go.

That said Blaze is a departure that feels to have been coming for a while. Increasingly limp forward displays, a pack not performing as the sum of its parts, an inconsistent scrum and shambolic line-out. Cockers leaving was a make or break moment for Blaze, coming out of the DORs shadow. It seems to have been too much too soon for a young coach.

He's a good man who had a very promising career sadly cut short by injury. Hopefully he goes away to a lower tier club, gains experience and comes back to the Prem a better coach. Having learnt from the forwards he did whilst playing he should certainly have some knowledge to transfer!

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 18 Sep 2017, 7:50 pm

If I were on the board I'd be sending over a contract to Plumtree immediately. If he wants a bigger role then my second choice would be Parling or Herring. Herring has been coaching the Japan forwards and defence and he knows the club. Parling is well Parling we know what he'll offer as a coach.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 4:31 pm

Kitch has fractured his eye socket and will require surgery. The merc article says it will be a significantly shorter lay-off than Fitzgerald with three months out with knee ligament damage.

It gives Harry Wells an opening to show how far he's come. I was really impressed with Wells against Gloucs. Maksymiw did well too I thought. It was particularly nice to see both flying out of the line in defence and coming onto the ball at pace. Maksymiw fell off a couple of tackles but he also made some very effective chops around the fringes.

I thought Mapapalangi had a strong debut too. He has experience in the row but also offers the option to move Williams to lock and keep size in the back row.

1.Genge 2.Youngs 3.Cole 4.Williams 5.Wells 6.Croft 7.Hamilton 8.Kalamafoni

16.Thacker 17.Bateman 18.Mulipola 19.Mapapalangi 20.Evans

That would be interesting to see against Quins.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 6:04 pm

Any news on Barrow or Cilliers?

Feel sorry for Kitch he had started to get the lineout to finally function against Saints (by caking every ball to himself) after he went off it went to pot. Hope he comes back stronger.

I don't think Williams or O'Connor are keen for Williams to go into the second row. It was interesting to see Kalamafoni go into the second row with Mapapalangi at 8 and Williams remain on the blindside at the weekend. Perhaps we'll see that again though that would put a lot of pressure on Wells as the rest of the jumping options aren't great. I'd like to see Croft back but can't see it.

Agree on Wells and Big Joe. Wells definitely deserves another start after that shift. Maksymiw did well enough but didn't really stand out, a little more experience and a little more aggression and he'll be fine.

I reckon we'll see;
Genge, Youngs, Cole
Wells, Kalamafoni/Barrow
Hamilton, Mapapalangi/Kalamafoni, Williams

Lots of power and look to drive back the Quins forwards. As MOC seems to be going for size I doubt we'll see Evans or Croft.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by king_carlos on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 6:33 pm

On Barrow only a very vague, "Dom should play for us". Sounds like it isn't a serious knock but I wouldn't bank on him definitely being in the line-up for Quins. Barrow and Wells would make up a decent lock pairing if a functioning line-out can be made from it.

Nothing on Cilliers yet which I've seen.

Close to half of the tries scored in last seasons Prem came from line-outs. It's now the most important attacking platform. Given our line-out inconsistency last season and implosion in the first 3 games I'd hope Crofty would be given a chance if he's fit.

Evans is a huge talent and it will be very frustrating if a game plan is being worked towards which excludes one of our best talents. He's a stronger tackler than BOC and just as good at the breakdown. He has the skills to be as good a link man too although BOC is much better at this than many give him credit for. If BOC was in MOCs (initials getting confusing here!) early season squads then I don't see why Evans wont feature. Probably a case of him still working up to full fitness.

MOC is favouring power and given the flaws in our forward play last season I can't blame him. Thacker has shown in his bench appearances that you don't need size to be physical though. Our line speed around the fringes has improved each time Wee 'arry has come on. Evans is similar around the fringes, his line speed is fantastic.

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Re: Leicester Tigers 2017/18 Season

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 8:58 pm

I hope you're right. Evans is a real talent and the big pack does lack someone who will slow ball down and grab a turnover. He's got some skill as a link man as well.

Maybe he'll get a go this weekend. Quins are mobile so could be the right time for a proper openside.

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