Leicester Tigers 2019-20

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 10 Sep 2019, 11:23 am

First topic message reminder :

Fixtures


September
13th Misc - Premiership Sevens, Pool Fixtures
14th Misc - Premiership Sevens, KO Fixtures
21st 15:00 - Worcester (a), Premiership Cup
27th 19:45 - Exeter (h), Premiership Cup

October
 5th 15:00 - Bath (a), Premiership Cup
12th 15:00 - Northampton (h), Premiership Cup
19th 15:00 - Worcester (a), Gallagher Premiership
27th 15:00 - Saracens (h), Gallagher Premiership


November
 2nd 15:00 - Gloucester (h), Gallagher Premiership
10th 15:00 - London Irish (a), Gallagher Premiership
16th 15:00 - Pau (h), Challenge Cup
23rd 20:00 - Cardiff (a), Challenge Cup

30th 15:00 - Northampton (a), Gallagher Premiership

December
 7th 15:00 - Calvisano (h), Challenge Cup
14th 13:30 - Calvisano (a), Challenge Cup

21st 15:00 - Exeter (h), Gallagher Premiership
28th 16:30 - Harlequins (a - Twickenham), Gallagher Premiership

January
 4th 15:00 - Bristol (h), Gallagher Premiership
12th 15:15 - Cardiff (h), Challenge Cup

17/18/19 - Pau (a), Challenge Cup
24/25/26 - Bath (a), Gallagher Premiership

February
14/15/16 - Wasps (h), Gallagher Premiership
21/21/23 - Sale (a), Gallagher Premiership
28/29/01 - Worcester (h), Gallagher Premiership

March
6/7/8 - Saracens (a), Gallagher Premiership
20/21/22 - Exeter (a), Gallagher Premiership
27/28/29 - Beth (h), Gallagher Premiership


April
3/4/5 - Castres (h), Challenge Cup 1/4 Final
10/11/12 - London Irish (h), Gallagher Premiership
17/18/19 - Gloucester (a), Gallagher Premiership
24/25/26 - Sale (h), Gallagher Premiership

May
8/9/10 - Wasps (a), Gallagher Premiership
15/16/17 - Northampton (h), Gallagher Premiership
29/30/31 - Bristol (a), Gallagher Premiership

June
5/6/7 - Harlequins (h), Gallagher Premiership


Squad & Coaching Team


Head Coach: Geordan Murphy
Forwards Coach: Mark Bakewell
Attack Coach: Mike Ford
Defence Coach: Phil Blake
Scrum Coach: Boris Stankovich
Senior Development coach: Brett Deacon
Team Manager: Teresa Carrington


First Team Squad:
Props (8): Greg Bateman, Dan Cole, Gaston Cortes, Ellis Genge, Facundo Gigena, Joe Heyes, Owen Hills, Nephi Leatigaga
Hookers (5): Charlie Clare, Jake Kerr, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Jimmy Stevens, Tom Youngs
Second Row (4): Calum Green, Tomas Lavanini, Will Spencer, Harry Wells
Back Row (8): Jordan Coghlan, Dave Denston, Sione Kalamafoni, Sam Lewis, Hanro Liebenberg, Tommy Reffell, Jordan Taufua, Guy Thompson
Half Backs: (8)Sam Harrison, Harry Simmons, Ben White, Ben Youngs, George Ford, Tom Hardwicke, Johnny McPhillips, Noel Reid
Outside Backs (13): Sam Aspland-Robinson, Kyle Eastmond, Andy Forsyth, Jonah Holmes, Jonny May, Jordan Olowofela, Jaco Taute, Joe Thomas, Adam Thompstone, Manu Tuilagi, Telusa Veainu, EW Viljoen, George Worth

Development Squad:
Props (3): Osman Dimen, Keston Lines, James Whitcombe
Hookers (0):
Second Row (3): Cameron Jordan, Tom Manz, George Martin
Back Row (5): Ollie Ashwoth, Sam Eveleigh, Taylor Gough, Henri Lavin, Thom Smith
Half Backs (3): Jonny Law, Jack van Poortvliet, Sam Costelow
Outside Backs (4): Joe Browning, Kyran Bungaroo, Leo Gilliland, Freddie Steward


Last edited by LondonTiger on Tue 21 Jan 2020, 9:26 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 1:32 pm

He played lock for the England U20s, but I see him more as a 5/6 hybrid - though same could have been said for Harry Wells at the same age.

We have some good young uns coming through. The likes of White, Hardwick, Olowefela, Reffell, Heyes and Lewis we are starting to see more of, while the next set down are extremely promising. We have five guys in the U20 squad named last week of which at least two are just out of the U18s. Sam Costelow is still 18 and played for Wales in the JWC in the summer.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 1:36 pm

PS would love to see Browning play this weekend.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 3:56 pm

LondonTiger wrote:PS would love to see Browning play this weekend.

Agreed. Browning and Gilliland are good talents but Browning a bit more physically developed. Along with Steward at 15 there's good talent in the back three.

Saints only have 3 wingers in their squad and have used versatile players and their academy to cover. I wouldn't mind Tigers doing similar going forward with those players coming through along with several back three players out of contract.

The talent coming through is good. Heyes, Reffell, Lewis, White, Simmons and Olowofela all recently promoted. I hope that Jordan and Lavin follow them into the senior squad next season.

I'd like the forward thinking of guys like Costelow and Steward getting senior contracts early to invest faith in them as well. The likes of Martin, Eveleigh and Ashworth being forwards will need the extra year to develop but backs can be brought through early in the right environment.

With Dimen, Lines and Whitecombe in the development squad and Tom Hardwick likely to be moved up next year I hope we go into next season with 7 senior props rather than 8 as well.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 6:02 pm


Leicester Tigers (v Rugby Calvisano, Welford Road, Saturday 3.00pm)

15 Freddie Steward
14 Adam Thompstone
13 Manu Tuilagi
12 Noel Reid
11 Jonny May
10 George Ford
9 Ben Youngs
1 Facundo Gigena
2 Tom Youngs (c)
3 Dan Cole
4 Sam Lewis
5 Calum Green
6 Jordan Coghlan
7 Tommy Reffell
8 Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements
16 Jake Kerr
17 Nephi Leatigaga
18 Joe Heyes
19 Ifereimi Boladau
20 Guy Thompson
21 Sam Harrison
22 Tom Hardwick
23 Telusa Veainu



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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 6:03 pm

Steward gets a start, and beneficially for him with experienced wingers.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 6:18 pm

Surprised to see so many England internationals playing but I guess they need the game time in club colours to bed in.

Lewis gets a go at lock alongside Jordan. Wells I always felt was a lock that could play 6 I think Lewis is more a 6 that can play lock. Not sure he's got the physicality to really become a mainstay of the engine room.

Good to see Steward get a go, he is one that looks like he could be a future international. At 6 foot 4 he'd be a physically imposing one.

Strong bench as well, this should be a massacre with then the missing first teamers from this game coming in for next week and the first team guys playing this week getting a rest. If we get two TBPs that's what 19 points? Win the home game Vs Cardiff and we can send the kids to Pau.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 7:00 pm

With Holmes and Aspland-Robinson injured it would be very useful if Steward can show himself to be a first team option. It would raise the possibility of using Veainu on the wing again as well.

Worth has improved a lot at fullback but I can't help thinking he lacks the pace for it to be his best position. His high ball work and kicking game have come on a lot though in fairness to him.

Good news to see Reffell in particular but also Boladau back fit.

I don't think Leatigaga has featured at loosehead for Tigers previously? He's played both sides before so it will be interesting to see how he goes.

In terms of the game itself. That side should absolutely rout Calvisano. Hopefully Ricardo Brugnara is playing for them, it would be interesting to see how he has progressed since moving on from Tigers.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 05 Dec 2019, 7:09 pm

Agree I don't think Worth will ever be a top level 15, remind me of Vesty in that he's a good footballer and will do a solid in most positions in the backline. Very handy squad player to have and is getting better the more he plays.

Steward if he can show up well could also do a stint on the wings as he isn't slow and also the opportunity to use Ford's love of the crossfield kick to a 6 foot 4 winger with a fullbacks ability under the high ball would be a handy addition to our currently stagnant attack.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 12:42 pm

RUGBY CALVISANO

15. Jacopo Trulla, 14. Facundo Panceyra-Garrido (c), 13. Giacomo De Santis, 12. Damiano Mazza, 11. Marco Susio, 10. Paolo Pescetto, 9. Nicolò Casilio, 1. Riccardo Brugnara, 2. Matteo Luccardi, 3. Lorenzo Cittadini, 4. Andrea Zambonin, 5. Davide Zanetti, 6. Alessandro Izekor, 7. Andrea Martani, 8. Samu Vunisa.

Replacements:16. Gabriele Morelli, 17. Antonio Barducci, 18. Piermaria Leso, 19. Gabriele Venditti, 20. Antoine Koffi, 21. Federico Consoli, 22. Alberto Chiesa, 23. Federico Mori

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 12:42 pm

At first look I think I recognise four names:

Brugnara, Cittadini, Vunisa & Mori

Edit: Must be thinking of someone else with Mori

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 3:52 pm

Not sure what to say about 1st half. Whole thing is pretty flat, while unsurprisingly stadium emptiest I have seen it.

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Post by king_carlos on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 7:04 pm

I'm yet to see the game as I've been at work. I'm glad to hear that Lewis and Steward had good games though. With Liebenberg injured and the issues in the back three I hope both start getting game time in the Premiership as well.

Steward is just turned 19 but plenty of backs have shone at that age when played with experience around them. I've increasingly thought that Veainu might be better off on the wing. If only for the fact that fewer last gasp tackles might mean he makes fewer of them with his head on the wrong side. He seems to have taken lessons from Brad Barritt on 'the face tackle'.

Lewis offers a line-out option in the back row that we've missed since Liebenberg injured his ankle.

Interesting that the BBC article name checks Tommy Reffell as a rising star.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 7:08 pm

Steward moved to 13 for most of the game. He looked promising. Lewis was excellent but is currently too lightweight fir second row. He seem to have a decent turn of pace.

Lineout was a complete shambles. Very solid between the 22s but the pressure lineouts either on their line or ours were messed up.

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Post by king_carlos on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 8:05 pm

The line-out has been a shambles for seasons now. Youngs line-out work has been up and down his whole career but Kerr generally has good darts and Polota-Nau has 90 caps. It's the whole structures and execution of basics across the board that are abysmal not just individual performance. Which makes it a more difficult problem to solve I guess.

If Borthwick comes in then we can't get a better coach to sort the line-out.

I still think that we need a much stronger line-out lock at full strength. Lavanini is a good signing but Spencer to me isn't first choice quality if we want to challenge the top half of the table again.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 9:07 pm

One 5m attacking lineout was messed up when Youngs threw not straight. Another we failed to set the maul correctly and a 3rd saw Kerr over through slightly and the lifters miss the timing. Even the pushover try saw us mess up the set initially.

I thought these problems were solved last season but back now with a vengeance.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 9:50 pm

None of our hookers have shown much competence at the lineout this season. Kerr looked good last season, TY hit and miss throughout his career and it's never been a TPN strength. That area of our game has to improve because the rolling maul is one of the most dangerous weapons in rugby and with our scrum we will get lineouts in the opposition 22. Considering we signed the prems best lienout operator from last season I'm surprised it's going so tits up.

The radio commentators were very impressed with Lewis, sounded like his was an all action display more in line with a backrower than a lock. Not surprising really. I think he will be a 6 mainly but someone who can step into lock if required. Steward seems a solid player at 19 (only just 19 as well) he's had a good write up from the PRC and the Championship games this season so I expected good things. He played 13 for his club before coming into the academy it was only when he got to the academy he turned his hand to 15. Useful bit of versatility and given the injury list in the back three he might get some chances soon, wouldn't mind him settling into prem life on the wing (easy target for a Ford crossfield).

Today sounds like a job done scenario. We were expected to give them a kicking and we did. Now it sounds like the kids are heading over to Italy for the rematch, hopefully whilst the first team practice lineouts (repeatedly).

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Post by king_carlos on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 10:00 pm

LondonTiger wrote:One 5m attacking lineout was messed up when Youngs threw not straight. Another we failed to set the maul correctly and a 3rd saw Kerr over through slightly and the lifters miss the timing. Even the pushover try saw us mess up the set initially.

I thought these problems were solved last season but back now with a vengeance.
Bakewell seemed to simplify things by largely going to the front half of the line-out with lots of movements and dummy jumpers. Issue is that if we can't throw to the tail reliably then attacking options are hugely limited.

A maul on the tail is most dangerous as defending forwards need to work round, can't drive you back towards the touchline easily and it can open up a blindside to attack down. Off the top ball is far more dangerous from the tail as the scrum half can hit his first receiver much wider, allowing the ball to be spread quickly.

We recycled ball more last season but the line-out still never became a weapon as it's far easier to defend a line-out if sides are usually throwing nearer the front.

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Post by king_carlos on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 10:09 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:None of our hookers have shown much competence at the lineout this season. Kerr looked good last season, TY hit and miss throughout his career and it's never been a TPN strength. That area of our game has to improve because the rolling maul is one of the most dangerous weapons in rugby and with our scrum we will get lineouts in the opposition 22. Considering we signed the prems best lienout operator from last season I'm surprised it's going so tits up.

The radio commentators were very impressed with Lewis, sounded like his was an all action display more in line with a backrower than a lock. Not surprising really. I think he will be a 6 mainly but someone who can step into lock if required. Steward seems a solid player at 19 (only just 19 as well) he's had a good write up from the PRC and the Championship games this season so I expected good things. He played 13 for his club before coming into the academy it was only when he got to the academy he turned his hand to 15. Useful bit of versatility and given the injury list in the back three he might get some chances soon, wouldn't mind him settling into prem life on the wing (easy target for a Ford crossfield).

Today sounds like a job done scenario. We were expected to give them a kicking and we did. Now it sounds like the kids are heading over to Italy for the rematch, hopefully whilst the first team practice lineouts (repeatedly).

Tom Youngs is a club stalwart and his form has improved this season. He's no longer a starter though if we want to push up the table.

As for Polota-Nau? When we signed him I was delighted. He seemed exactly what we needed in a position needing improvement. Big carrier and a monster in the tackle. Age and a lot of miles on the clock seem to have taken their toll though.

Hooker needs some new blood.

With Holmes injured I'd happily see Steward at 15 with May and Veainu on the wings.

9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.May 12.Taute 13.Tuilagi 14.Veainu 15.Steward

21.White 22.Harwick/Reid 23.Worth

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 8:58 am

I'd still expect Tom to retire at the end of the season despite his improvement in form. TPN I wasn't so sure about before he joined, I thought he was a bit past it and to an extent I was right but his additional power has been handy at times. We could very much do with injecting some youth in that position.

I like that backline for the Chiefs game. Hopefully our forwards will give them a good enough platform.

For next week in Italy I'd like to see something like;

Genge, Kerr, Heyes
Martin, Jordan
Lewis, Boladau, Reffell
White, Hardwick
Taute, Thomas
Viljoen, Worth, Steward

Clare, Gigena, Leatigaga, Lavin, Smith, Simmonds, Costelow, Thompstone.

Quite a young side with Genge, Boladau and Taute there to add some experience, otherwise a nice mix. Geordie might be tempted to put Thompson in instead of Reffell.

For Chiefs;

Genge, Youngs, Cole
Lavanini, Spencer
Lewis, Taufua, Thompson
Youngs, Ford
Taute, Manu
TV, Steward, May

Kerr, Gigena, Leatigaga, Green, Kalamafoni, White, Hardwick/Reid, Thompstone.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 10:12 am

I am a little worried by a Jordan/Martin second row. Two young players making their full debut against a side that may not be great but caused us problems in the set piece.

What I liked about Steward's introduction yesterday was that he had experienced guys around him to help settle into the game. Thus I would rather see perhaps Martin alongside a more experienced lock.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 10:13 am

Oh and I guess I have made my opinion on Viljoen pretty clear Smile

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 10:24 am

Chance for Viljoen to demonstrate some form, against the Italians he should be able to find some rhythm. If not he can wait a bit longer for another shot in the first team.

Lock is an area we are a little short. I suppose if Spencer is fit then he could come in for some game time alongside Jordan and then Martin can come off the bench. Wells is still banned, Lavanini can't be risked and giving Green a week off seems like common sense.

I see that Mathias Alemmano is being linked with us today. MacParland has allegedly been out to Argentina to negotiate with him. Hopefully Lavanini has been telling him the joys of Leicestershire.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 10:35 am

Kalamafoni moved to lock for about 20 minutes when Green was replaced. May be an option I guess.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 11:04 am

He played there a bit towards the tail end of his time at Glaws but we've never really used that option previously. 19 stone of Tongan beef in the second row ought to help the scrum and rolling maul. I would be opposed to seeing that.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 8:49 pm

Matias Alemanno would be a solid signing. He's a step-up on our other line-out locks. I'd still much prefer us chase Isiekwe but if he is leaving Sarries then he will be in huge demand.

When more obscure rumours such as that pop up out of nowhere there tends to be more to them than a lot of silly season rumours. Lavanini and Leatigaga feel like good examples of that from recent seasons.

The obvious and significant downside would be losing both to Argentina call-ups at the same time.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 09 Dec 2019, 11:05 am

Depends whether the Pumas decide to call up the European based players or not. They have tended not to do so in recent times but it will depend on how many move. They may use the Jaguares squad particularly for the Autumn Internationals. International participation will limit what we offer in terms of contract so hopefully we can find a way to keep what we have but add an other good operator in. Use the TPN money more wisely.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 09 Dec 2019, 4:52 pm

With Matera in France now you'd presume they will pick players based abroad. He's their captain and a well regarded one at that.

Their most vital players are arguably Matera, Sanchez and Cordero. Dropping Sanchez against England at the Rugby World Cup hardly went well. Neither did leaving out Cordero and Fucando Isa (who is out of contract I believe) from the squad.

Re-signing Cubelli, Montoya and Creevy was really important for the Jaguares though to be fair.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 09 Dec 2019, 5:47 pm

https://www.epcrugby.com/video/highlights-leicester-tigers-v-rugby-calvisano/

A brief highlight package from the Calvisano game.

It's good to see Noel Reid showing his handling skills in a couple of the tries. He's a good player that we are yet to see that much from.

With Liebenberg injured I'd be happy for Sam Lewis to be picked on the flank for Prem games.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 09 Dec 2019, 5:53 pm

Good point on Matera they'll want him available. They will need to do something to incentivise staying or they'll see a lot more heading off abroad though. I'd expect them to look give those that stay at the Jags game time. Hopefully it means we wouldn't lose out all the time. We could certainly do with further pack upgrades. Can't see us getting Isikwe currently.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 09 Dec 2019, 6:04 pm

king_carlos wrote:https://www.epcrugby.com/video/highlights-leicester-tigers-v-rugby-calvisano/

A brief highlight package from the Calvisano game.

It's good to see Noel Reid showing his handling skills in a couple of the tries. He's a good player that we are yet to see that much from.

With Liebenberg injured I'd be happy for Sam Lewis to be picked on the flank for Prem games.

I think Sam Lewis deserves his chance. The post game interview with Reffell was interesting he was saying that Lewis had changed his mentality over the summer and he's always the first one in to training. Sounds like a young lad who's intent on kicking the door down.

Steward looks as fluid as the senior players around him in those clips. He's already a unit at 19 as well. Looks more like a young forward. Hopefully he gets another go in Italy.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 1:32 pm

Something has been bugging me slightly since Saturday. There was a speech by Peter Wheeler followed by a minutes applause in memory of David Matthews. Now for everything he did at Leicester, and as Wheeler said no-one will ever come near his total of 1st team games, this was well deserved. What has been nagging at me though is, as he died in the Summer, why it happened this past weekend and not earlier? I do not like being cynical about something like this, and as I said it was deserved, but it did feel a little like an attempt to distract attention.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 3:11 pm

Bakewell's gone, with Deacon stepping up into the role forwards coach until (hopefully) Borthwick arrives next year https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/50726028

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 3:54 pm

In teh end we never saw any improvement following his recruitment.

My main concern is that we are yet again shuffling the deck chairs during the season. Deacon is a promising coach and has been involved with England Age Groups as part of the RFU development program.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 4:23 pm

This is an odd decision. Unless Bakewell has left for personal reasons or Borthwick is joining imminently. We aren't anything by this change irrespective of the lack of improvement on his watch.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 4:26 pm

Hmm sure I wrote more - but anyway Deacon is not ready for this so really worried we will get worse rather than better until the permanent replacements are in. thought I saw a rumour about Mike Ford heading out too, but now unable to substantiate that.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 4:35 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Something has been bugging me slightly since Saturday. There was a speech by Peter Wheeler followed by a minutes applause in memory of David Matthews. Now for everything he did at Leicester, and as Wheeler said no-one will ever come near his total of 1st team games, this was well deserved. What has been nagging at me though is, as he died in the Summer, why it happened this past weekend and not earlier? I do not like being cynical about something like this, and as I said it was deserved, but it did feel a little like an attempt to distract attention.

It did seem a bit odd the timing. We could have done with some distraction at the start of the season as well though frankly. I'd be surprised if Wheeler would agree to involving himself in using that to distract attention though to be fair.

I can't help but feel that his departure from the Chief Executive role in 2010 coincided with the start of a lot of the board decisions that interfered with on field performance.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 4:42 pm

As for Bakewell, I can't say he had much positive impact longer term. There was the 'dead cat bounce' when he first came in and it felt the forward play improved marginally. Over his tenure we haven't seen any appreciable improvement though.

I thought Deacon was regarded as more of a defence and breakdown coach than a forwards coach. God knows he's got his work cut out with out line-out and maul being so poor.

A few articles about Proudfoot joining England have mentioned that the RFU would release Borthwick early if they find the right replacement. Perhaps Proudfoot will take on the forward coach role with Jones bringing in specialists for specific areas such as the breakdown or line-out if he feels fit?

Our current form could even have seen Borthwick push for an earlier release I'd guess. As things stand, were he to join after the 6 Nations we may already be staring relegation in the face.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 8:07 pm

Well Proudfoot is available and out of contract. If the RFU don't want him to start until the end of the season can we have him until then? Seriously it would be much more beneficial to get Borthwick in sooner rather than later for him and us, I don't think he'll want to be coaching a team in the Championship next season.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Wed 11 Dec 2019, 7:12 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:This is an odd decision. Unless Bakewell has left for personal reasons or Borthwick is joining imminently. We aren't anything by this change irrespective of the lack of improvement on his watch.

You could replace Bakewell with the cat, and it would be an improvement.

While we're at it, Murphy is clearly incompetent and should resign, followed by the board. Root and branch re-structuring is required.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 12 Dec 2019, 6:13 pm

https://twitter.com/LeicesterTigers/status/1205163268173635584?s=19

Jack Rowntree at TH unlike his dad, while that looks like it must be Glenn Gelderblooms son covering SH from the bench.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 13 Dec 2019, 8:15 am

Maybe he has a job opportunity lined up elsewhere, or his position just became untenable as he knew he was place sitting till Borthwick came? I cant imagine its too easy trying to bring much needed positivity to a training group when you know youre getting replaced in a couple of months. 

Best case as Sam notes would be that it means Borthwick is coming sooner rather than later. His impact is desperately needed, and Id be very concerned that he would jump ship were Tigers to be relegated. I never rated him much as a player but as a technician and coach he has proven to be the real deal, and has the gravitas and credibility to make an impact.

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Post by Big on Fri 13 Dec 2019, 8:46 am

Gooseberry wrote:...I never rated him much as a player but as a technician and coach he has proven to be the real deal...

I'm going to assume you mean as an international player!? As a club player he was very very good and I rated him highly. His ability as a coach can make you see why he was selected by all England coaches from SCW through to Johnson though. He might not have had the physical presence to be a true great, but clearly has the rugby brain and was presumably contributing a lot off the field.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 13 Dec 2019, 10:02 am

LondonTiger wrote:https://twitter.com/LeicesterTigers/status/1205163268173635584?s=19

Jack Rowntree at TH unlike his dad, while that looks like it must be Glenn Gelderblooms son covering SH from the bench.

The Smiths are apparently ones to watch. Ollie is supposed to be a very good utility back that should settle in the centres, hopefully as good as his namesake. Kit is another openside off the production line.

Vanes at hooker is presumed to be a development squad certainty for next season.

Be interesting to see how they get on under Matt Smith.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 13 Dec 2019, 10:06 am

Aye, would be good if Ollie Smith could be as good as teh original

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 13 Dec 2019, 10:40 am

Big wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:...I never rated him much as a player but as a technician and coach he has proven to be the real deal...

I'm going to assume you mean as an international player!?  As a club player he was very very good and I rated him highly.  His ability as a coach can make you see why he was selected by all England coaches from SCW through to Johnson though.  He might not have had the physical presence to be a true great, but clearly has the rugby brain and was presumably contributing a lot off the field.  


I guess yeah. he was always very limited even as a club player but perhaps got away with the lack of dynamism more at that level. He just never excited me I suppose! But his leadership was more evident at Saracens than it was for England, and I guess I just didnt see how important he was with the invisible things (like the lineout). He didn't have the physicality of a Shaw, the presence of a Johnson or the athleticism you see from modern locks like Itoje. I guess he looked worse in a struggling England side than he did in the later years with a dominant Saracens. 
So in summary yes agree, I didnt really appreciate him till he was gone. It was notable just how much Englands line out declined when he got dropped, and how much it picked up when he was bought in to coach it. 
And absolutely yes as a coach he was groomed into it whilst still playing for good reason and has consistently succeeded. It also show a lack of ego that hes happy to come to a club as a forwards coach focusing on what he does well and knows best when he could have looked for a head coach role somewhere or another international job. Another reason why Im really happy to see him coming is that theres the potential to apprentice him into a wider role and gradually promote, allowing Murphy to focus on more of a DoR role (or just get sacked). Im assuming some assurance has been given to him about the potential grow his role as part of the package of bringing him in. 
Definitely one of the better untarnished  English coaches around.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 13 Dec 2019, 12:04 pm


Jordan Taufua, Greg Bateman and Will Spencer all return to the Leicester Tigers matchday squad for Saturday’s European Challenge Cup trip to face Rugby Calvisano.

Back-rower Taufua and fellow forwards Bateman and Spencer are all named among the replacements by head coach Geordan Murphy as Tigers defend top spot in Pool 5.

In the starting line-up, Tom s Lavanini returns to the forward pack after sitting out the Round 3 win over Calvisano at Welford Road last Saturday. There are recalls for Joe Thomas and Andy Forsyth in the backline with captain Sam Harrison and Tom Hardwick at half-back.

Johnny McPhillips, a summer signing from Ulster Rugby, is in line for his first European appearance for the club from the replacements’ bench.

Murphy said: “It’s a nice addition to have Jordan Taufua involved and to have Greg and Will back after injury too.

“We’ve made a few changes because we have players who have been waiting for their opportunity and we get to see some of the younger members of the squad alongside a core of seniors.

“Calvisano are a combative side and we don’t want to sit back and let them play at us. We want to play our game and show what we can do.”

Leicester Tigers (v Rugby Calvisano, away, Saturday 2.30pm local time/1.30pm UK time)

15 Telusa Veainu
14 Freddie Steward
13 Joe Thomas
12 Noel Reid
11 Andy Forsyth
10 Tom Hardwick
9 Sam Harrison (c)
1 Facundo Gigena
2 Charlie Clare
3 Joe Heyes
4 Tomás Lavanini
5 Calum Green
6 Sam Lewis
7 Guy Thompson
8 Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements

16 Jimmy Stevens
17 Greg Bateman
18 Nephi Leatigaga
19 Will Spencer
20 Jordan Taufua
21 Ben White
22 Johnny McPhillips
23 George Worth

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 13 Dec 2019, 1:51 pm

Good mix in that side. Nice to see Hardwick, Lewis and Steward get more game time. Chance for McPhillips to come in from the cold a little bit, been a rocky start to his time at Tigers.

Should be a good enough team to get the job done and chance for a few players to combine ready for next weekend. That could well be the starting backrow Vs Chiefs with Taufua as impact off the bench and ditto second row.

Good to see Stevens fully recovered from his HIA issues with Bateman a welcome return as well, we need more powerful carriers.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 13 Dec 2019, 1:56 pm

The chance to give the development players consistent meaningful gametime is the one big plus of last seasons failures, and absolutely the right thing to be doing given the clubs position elsewhere. 
Heck if they do get relegated that could be the first 15 next season. But for this season not risking the elite players and also enabling the second string to step up are important

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 13 Dec 2019, 2:35 pm

Murphy has been generally good at rotating the squad and providing players to develop with experience around them. He has really helped create a pathway to the first team for the younger players. It's just such a shame the team looks like they've met in the carpark each week. They are certainly playing for Murphy but there just isn't enough quality in terms of performance. Hopefully Borthwick will come in and sort the structure out as head coach. Murphy can then go to DOR and step away from the day to day coaching a bit.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 3:08 pm

Sounds like a pretty damp performance from Tigers. It was a rotated side but struggling to against a side like Calvisano up until a second half red card is poor.

Nice to see that Lewis and Steward linked up well for the first try though. I'd keep both in the squad against Exeter.

1.Genge 2.Youngs 3.Cole 4.Lavanini 5.Spencer 6.Kalamafoni 7.Reffell 8.Taufua
9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.May 12.Taute 13.Tuilagi 14.Veainu 15.Steward

16.Polota-Nau 17.Bateman 18.Leatigaga 19.Lewis 20.Thompson 21.White 22.Reid 23.Worth

I wouldn't be surprised if we take no points against a Chiefs side who will have won their last 5 games in all competitions.

Chiefs (H), Quins (A) and Bristol (H). If we fail to claim a win from those three games then we will head into the 6 Nations in real trouble.

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