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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 king_carlos on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 3:21 pm

Rumours that Genge is being offered £400k and Ford £600k.

Ford is currently rumoured around £350k and Genge circa £200k. So that's around a £450k increase in cap spend. Perhaps a bit less with Ford becoming a marquee and Manu (circa £550k) being in the cap.

Given how much fly-halves and props are now worth it's what we need to spend to keep them and boy do we need to keep them both.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 4:14 pm

Who is our second marquee player currently?

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 6:09 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Who is our second marquee player currently?

Presumably Taufua but possibly Lavanini depending on how much each is on.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 6:21 pm

king_carlos wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Who is our second marquee player currently?

Presumably Taufua but possibly Lavanini depending on how much each is on.

Both would be on a lot less than Manu. I would have thought they would be on less than Fords current contract, so having Ford and Manu as marquee players seems to make sense for next season - assuming we are covered by the salary cap of course.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 6:29 pm

https://d2cx26qpfwuhvu.cloudfront.net/premier/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/16173132/Salary-Cap-Regulations-2019-20-Board-Approved-Feb-2019.pdf wrote:(c) A Club shall only be entitled to nominate a Player as their first Excluded Player who:

(i) has been a Player of the Club for at least two full Salary Cap Years prior to
the Salary Cap Year in which he is nominated as the Excluded Player; or

(ii) has not been a Player of any Club during the previous Salary Cap Year, other
than a Player who (A) qualifies under Regulation 3.3(c)(i) or (B) has only been
a Player of a Club during the previous Salary Cap Year as a replacement for
an Injured Player following dispensation under Regulation 5; or

(iii) has been a Player (but not an Excluded Player) for the Club in the previous
Salary Cap Year and was not a Player for any other Club for at least one Salary
Cap Year immediately prior to joining the Club.

(d) A Club shall only be entitled to nominate a Player as a second Excluded Player who:

(i) has not been a Player of any Club during the previous Salary Cap Year; or

(ii) was that Club’s second Excluded Player in the previous Salary Cap Year.

Second excluded player rules are set-up so that they need to be signed from outside the Prem, to encourage new talent being brought in. Neither Manu or Ford qualify.

It's that second rule which makes Sarries situation interesting. Liam Williams will be their second excluded, feasibly if he wanted to move on early and not play this season then they could nominate a different second excluded. The only player who qualifies is Rhys Carre who will be on a fraction of what Williams is earning though.

That rule also makes me wonder (amongst many other things) how Sarries can be under the cap this season with Itoje having signed a huge contract. Last year Farrell will have been their first excluded player with Itoje on a much lower contract under the cap. Now Itoje will presumably be first excluded player, with Faz's gigantic salary coming under the cap. That's a different discussion though.

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Post by Brendan on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 11:30 am

king_carlos wrote:
https://d2cx26qpfwuhvu.cloudfront.net/premier/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/16173132/Salary-Cap-Regulations-2019-20-Board-Approved-Feb-2019.pdf wrote:(c) A Club shall only be entitled to nominate a Player as their first Excluded Player who:

(i) has been a Player of the Club for at least two full Salary Cap Years prior to
the Salary Cap Year in which he is nominated as the Excluded Player; or

(ii) has not been a Player of any Club during the previous Salary Cap Year, other
than a Player who (A) qualifies under Regulation 3.3(c)(i) or (B) has only been
a Player of a Club during the previous Salary Cap Year as a replacement for
an Injured Player following dispensation under Regulation 5; or

(iii) has been a Player (but not an Excluded Player) for the Club in the previous
Salary Cap Year and was not a Player for any other Club for at least one Salary
Cap Year immediately prior to joining the Club.

(d) A Club shall only be entitled to nominate a Player as a second Excluded Player who:

(i) has not been a Player of any Club during the previous Salary Cap Year; or

(ii) was that Club’s second Excluded Player in the previous Salary Cap Year.

Second excluded player rules are set-up so that they need to be signed from outside the Prem, to encourage new talent being brought in. Neither Manu or Ford qualify.

It's that second rule which makes Sarries situation interesting. Liam Williams will be their second excluded, feasibly if he wanted to move on early and not play this season then they could nominate a different second excluded. The only player who qualifies is Rhys Carre who will be on a fraction of what Williams is earning though.

That rule also makes me wonder (amongst many other things) how Sarries can be under the cap this season with Itoje having signed a huge contract. Last year Farrell will have been their first excluded player with Itoje on a much lower contract under the cap. Now Itoje will presumably be first excluded player, with Faz's gigantic salary coming under the cap. That's a different discussion though.

Is Sarries cap this year not a case of the year isn't over so not up for review yet (or was a special deal done which is why they didn't appeal). It would be ridiculous if they stay up this season being over the cap again.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 9:17 am

I'd imagine that if Sarries can't crawl under the cap this year they'll get another fine/points deduction next year.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 6:32 pm

Brendan wrote:Is Sarries cap this year not a case of the year isn't over so not up for review yet (or was a special deal done which is why they didn't appeal).  It would be ridiculous if they stay up this season being over the cap again.

All salary cap dealings are declared at the end of the season. So Sarries have until then to maneuver under the cap if they aren't already. I believe a mid season audit is being conducted though which Sarries publicly said they were happy to comply with. I guess this is to try to get ahead of complications around relegation if Sarries do stay up with a squad that's breaking the cap.

Skelton signed an extension that was rumoured to be an increased salary. Itoje signed a gigantic new contract. Daly signed from Wasps. Singleton brought in from Worcester. Nick Tompkins re-signed last season, his previous contract being as a 20-year old so he will be on more now.

Burger, Bosch and Tolofua departed who will have been on good money but I still struggle to see how they can possibly be under the cap this season if they were £650k over in the preceding ones.

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Post by broadlandboy on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 7:56 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Brendan wrote:Is Sarries cap this year not a case of the year isn't over so not up for review yet (or was a special deal done which is why they didn't appeal).  It would be ridiculous if they stay up this season being over the cap again.

All salary cap dealings are declared at the end of the season. So Sarries have until then to maneuver under the cap if they aren't already. I believe a mid season audit is being conducted though which Sarries publicly said they were happy to comply with. I guess this is to try to get ahead of complications around relegation if Sarries do stay up with a squad that's breaking the cap.

Skelton signed an extension that was rumoured to be an increased salary. Itoje signed a gigantic new contract. Daly signed from Wasps. Singleton brought in from Worcester. Nick Tompkins re-signed last season, his previous contract being as a 20-year old so he will be on more now.

Burger, Bosch and Tolofua departed who will have been on good money but I still struggle to see how they can possibly be under the cap this season if they were £650k over in the preceding ones.

If the overspend was the investment in players companies then I'm guessing no investment in said companies no overspend, just some players not getting as much as they thought they would.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 8:42 pm

The regs are set-up to avoid front loading of contracts though. So if a player is payed £500k in year 1 and £100k in year 2 the cap spend is £300k in each year. Contracts are averaged to avoid front loading.

So if the investments are viewed as salary then surely paying a lump sum in at the beginning of their contracts is a form of front loading. The players who the co-investments were made with haven't signed new contracts since the discretions from my knowledge.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 9:23 pm

The argument being put forward was that, despite the averaging rules, the investments were treated as salary only in the years the investments were made. With the report being kept confidential we will never know, though some have been able to read it under strict supervision.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 9:37 pm

So with the long break from the league allowing for the internationals to settle back in do you think we will see a more spirit performance on the field. If Tigers can get ahead of one of the other bottom teams they at least know what they need to do

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 9:48 pm

I'm not sure spirit has been the problem. The players seem to playing for Geordie. The issue is there appears to be no cohesion and the game plans are badly executed, I don't know whether they are too complicated/basic to realistically work or whether the players don't have the discipline to stick to them. The dodgy set piece displays aren't helping and neither is our near none existent attacking structure.

I think we might be better but still get mullered by Chiefs.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 9:09 am

Lineout poor.
Scrum misfiring.
First up tackling poor.
Transition between attacking and defending poor.
Defensive organisation in loose play poor.

Goal line defending pretty good.
Gaining turnovers good.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 9:46 am

To be fair the defence is better than last season, that's setting the bar pretty low mind. The kick chase and tactical kicking far worse though.

The win against Gloucester was built on our defence after all. We had Liebenburg at the time though and I don't think others are doing the dirty work in the tight to free up the likes of Lavanini and Kalamafoni for the big hits that drove Gloucester back. We've not seen much of that line speed from the backs either, maybe against Cardiff in the second half.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 9:54 am

Our best defensive displays have come when we have done limited attacking. When set we defend pretty well, but as Saints showed when we turnover ball whether from an attacking mistake or a lineout one we get punished too easily.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 11:31 am

That is true but not only of us. It's Austin's favourite saying in commentary the best type of attacking ball is turnover ball. We are slow to reset our line and not just from turnovers what really worried me was how poorly we readjusted our line for the kick chase Vs Saints. Gave them easy metres and line breaks.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 11:50 am

We just do not transition from being in possession to not being very well. The reverse is also true.

I do wonder of Exeter will be resting a few players for this game having gone for strong lineups in Europe these last two weeks.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 1:26 pm

Exeter have two good players for every position even if they rest players they'll still be strong. I wouldn't be surprised if they do rest a few, they can afford to quite frankly. Only area of potential weakness is lock where some of the squad players aren't quite up to where the starters are, the Chiefs set piece is so well drilled it's unlikely to be a problem.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 12:02 pm

Leicester Tigers (v Exeter Chiefs, Welford Road, Saturday 3.00pm)

15 Telusa Veainu
14 Adam Thompstone
13 Manu Tuilagi
12 Noel Reid
11 Jonny May
10 George Ford
9 Ben Youngs
1 Ellis Genge
2 Tom Youngs (c)
3 Dan Cole
4 Tomás Lavanini
5 Will Spencer
6 Calum Green
7 Jordan Taufua
8 Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements
16 Tatafu Polota-Nau
17 Facundo Gigena
18 Nephi Leatigaga
19 Harry Wells
20 Tommy Reffell
21 Ben White
22 Tom Hardwick
23 George Worth

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 12:03 pm

Hate that back row. Green is not a 6, Taufua is not a 7.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 12:47 pm

What in the seven circles of hell is this crap. I mean for furious sake. This was EXACTLY the problem we had last season. Stupid three lock selection leaves us with a 6 that can't get around the park meaning Kalamafoni ends up doing too much work in the tight instead of making big hits and carries in the midfield. We get no momentum and go backwards.

I live Geordie but patience is wearing very thin now. It's just the failure to learn so frustrating. Our only win in the league was when we had a work horse at 6 and used good line speed to Poopie down the opposition. I don't think we've got the personnel or the mobility in the pack to play like that. Chiefs will be rubbing their hands together at the thought of a physical arm wrestle.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 1:25 pm

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Henry Slade (c), 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Jack Maunder; 1 Ben Moon, 2 Elvis Taione, 3 Harry Williams, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Don Armand, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 8 Matt Kvesic

Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Billy Keast, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Sean Lonsdale, 21 Stuart Townsend, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Tom Hendrickson

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 1:30 pm

Interesting that Slade is captain even though Steenson is playing. Thought Steenson would be the likely captain there.

Kvesic is going to have a great time at the breakdown, he's probably prepping his man of the match acceptance in advance.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 3:08 pm

The Harry Wells at 6 trial was a complete disaster, so now Geordie decides to shoe horn another lock in there? Ludicrous. 

And where the hell is Taute? Back for one game and out again? Why do we buy in broken players.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 4:22 pm

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/leicester-respond-to-fans-querying-saturdays-team-selection/

Hmm

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 2:49 pm

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

Stadium today barely any fuller than a fortnight ago.

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Post by Brendan on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 3:43 pm

Seems tigers are doing ok in this game. Only 1 try away from a TBP. Might actually win

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 4:09 pm

Line speed is reminiscent of our game Vs Gloucester. It's been largely missing since then. The fans are loving the commitment in defence, WR is easily pleased hit hard, work hard and don't take a backwards step. They are doing that at the minute.

The attacking game seems to be coming together but Chiefs are very dangerous and can never be written off.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 4:22 pm

Very frustrating when the TMO allows a lot of should be penalties go and then decides to chirp up for two that aren't foul play for the benefit of Chiefs. Either chirp up for all the missed decisions or for just the ones where there's foul play.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 4:47 pm

White gets taken out after the kick and nothing from TMO. Incompetence is baffling. Not Pearce's fault but the TMO really should be reprimanded for this.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 4:54 pm

And this is why we're in a mess. Only played for the first 40 minutes. Didn't turn up after half time, lacked poise and just overplayed in our own half rather than backing the game plan and kicking for the corners.

Main worry was that our wingers just stopped chasing the kicks in the second half they have to do better to contest.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 5:14 pm

That Manu break seemed a big turning point. Looked like Tigers would turn that into points, possibly even the fourth try, but they found themselves playing back inside their own half, and momentum was lost. After that, nothing really went their way, and there were no real chances. The break might not have put Tigers in a position to go on and win, but it would have put them in with a shot of a bonus point or two.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 5:42 pm

I think the confidence took a couple of knocks in that second half. Failing to capitalise on the Manu break, the missed throw 5m out and the TMO intervention for the Taufua block. The heads just seemed to dip a little at each incident. Chiefs when they had something go against them they had bags if confidence in what they were doing, they fell back into their structures and came again, Tigers we're second guessing ourselves rather than just resetting.

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Post by Brendan on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 5:46 pm

Tigers really should of got at least 1pt.

At half time things were looking good.

At least Wasps lost too.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 7:56 pm

Chuffing lineout cost us dear again.

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Post by king_carlos on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 9:38 pm

Losing to sides better than us is frustrating enough. Losing winnable games, against rotated sides, whilst the likes of Reffell, Lewis and Steward don't get to learn from the experience is gut wrenching.

Watching Reffell sit on the bench despite having a positive impact on team performance almost every time he plays felt very similar to watching Will Evans sit behind O'Connor. By most accounts Reffell is settled in Leicester and committed to the re-build so hopefully it doesn't lead to the same end result.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 10:10 pm

To be fair Murphy's tactics worked in the first half. I think the error was not adapting when Spencer went off. The game was likely to break up in the second half with Chiefs needing tries. An earlier introduction for Reffell might have helped.

The one I don't understand is why we continue to use TPN, he's a liability. Kerr might make the occasional error but he is learning from them and developing. TPN is a 90 odd cap 35 year old he cannot be excused the poor lineout throws or the suicidal offloads. They might be more tolerated if the big hits and rampaging carries reliably turned up instead of appearing as brief glimpses.

Steward, Lewis et al are all out on loan remember they are developing still. It's not like the Cockerill years when they all say around twiddling their thumbs with the occasional A league or PRC competition. Having said that Lewis mist be sat their wondering what he needs to do to nail down a spot in the 23. The Quins game will suit his and Reffell's game more as Quins will play a more open style of play and we might need the extra mobility.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 8:53 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Very frustrating when the TMO allows a lot of should be penalties go and then decides to chirp up for two that aren't foul play for the benefit of Chiefs. Either chirp up for all the missed decisions or for just the ones where there's foul play.
Pulling a player’s arm in the air at a lineout is foul play. It is argueable whether the other incident was merely obstruction or foul play.


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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 9:01 am

I could only see it on the big screen, but it seemed to me that our jumper got in front and their guy pulled on ours as much as vice versa.

The annoying thing is similar seemed to happen at multiple timeouts yet this was the only time the TMO interfered.

Having said that we were architects of our own downfall. Some shoddy line out work, Genge taking that ridiculous quick penalty (though Exeter palpably failed to retreat), defensive organisation falling apart in the last 25 minutes ( rushing to cover non existent gaps out wide allowing the easy step back).

There was some really good stuff, but we need to start winning.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 9:02 am

Oh and I do not believe the Green at 6 decision worked. TV viewers though will know better.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 22 Dec 2019, 11:24 am

LondonTiger wrote:Oh and I do not believe the Green at 6 decision worked. TV viewers though will know better.

First half yes to an extent. Second half we were slow reacting to the game opening up and introduced Reffell for Taufua when we really needed three backrows on the field. Spencer was a loss when he went off, no one replaced his physicality in the tight exchanges and Green just didn't step up. Wells did well in the loose but he wasn't a like for like replacement and we didn't change the game plan to adapt.

Exiledinborders wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Very frustrating when the TMO allows a lot of should be penalties go and then decides to chirp up for two that aren't foul play for the benefit of Chiefs. Either chirp up for all the missed decisions or for just the ones where there's foul play.
Pulling a player’s arm in the air at a lineout is foul play. It is argueable whether the other incident was merely obstruction or foul play.


It was a penalty but it's not the dangerous type of foul play you see the TMO stopping the game for. Similarly the block which was very much a judgement call. There were two other fairly obvious blocks in the second half the TMO didn't intervene on despite them being very similar in nature. If the TMO is going to intervene then I'm happy as long as they do it consistently. The TMO didn't he called back a Tigers break into the Exeter 22 and overturned a Tigers turnover in the Tigers 22. Nowhere near consistent and clearly benefited one team over the other, wasn't a big factor in the result but potentially a factor in Tigers ability to get a LBP or TBP.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 23 Dec 2019, 9:35 am

king_carlos wrote:Ford and Genge would be my priorities as well. Both key and have time on their hands. The value of fly-halves and props is huge as well so replacing either will cost big the same as trying to re-sign them.

Lenny hasn't consistently shown his best for Tigers for a long time. He's had a great career and was once one of the clubs crown jewels but realistically we can get another very good scrum-half for his wage. I hope he stays but for the right price, given what Tigers have got from Youngs recently that might not happen.

The Mail reported that we have 17 players coming out of contract. My guess would be:

Forwards: Genge, Bateman, Hills, Youngs, Polota-Nau, Cortes, Spencer, Thompson, Kalamafoni

Backs: Youngs, Harrison, Ford, Eastmond, May, Thompstone, Aspland-Robinson, Worth

Players are less likely to re-sign if we are 11th and playing dire rugby so hopefully things improve fast.

That's a big chunk of the squad and a great opportunity for a clear out of some your sub standard KC.

As an outsider, not many past (Genge, Spencer, Thompson, Ford and May) would be worth keeping. Maybe one or tow of the younger lads too.

Tigers really need to sort their recruitment out for next season, great opportunity to do so.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 23 Dec 2019, 2:25 pm

To be fair the recruitment this summer was good. Taufua now fit looks excellent, Lavanini a beast and before he got injured Liebenburg was good as well.

Problem areas still remain. Keeping Spencer fit is an issue, Green has been average so far. His work rate is good but he makes little impact (poor man's Parking). So another quality lock is likely to be in the shopping list and rumoured to be another Puma.

Hooker needs a clear out, with Youngs rumoured to be retiring and TPN out of contract that would free up substantial funds to add to the squad. Stevens likely to be off as well. Would leave us Kerr and Clare. Add in another couple of mobile and physical specimens and jobs a good un. Woolstencroft from Sarries and Cooper at Falcons are both out of contract this summer or we could be going shopping down in Australia if you believe the summer rumours.

Retain the backs, other than a PI wing presence the back line should be fine and should keep improving as they are mostly quite young.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 24 Dec 2019, 5:35 am

I agree Sam, the recruitment was better than some of the previous average signings, but perhaps not enough. I thought Green was an odd signing tbh, he was steady at Falcons but nothing better than you already have in Spencer really.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 24 Dec 2019, 8:58 am

Murphy seems to have wanted to bring back some old Tigers academy graduates to reinforce the old Tigers culture (or at least he hoped). Green also offered a good lineout operator at squad level price which is handy with the salary cap. I'd expect that we will redistribute some of the cap allocation with a number of player out of contract at the end of the season and another lock will come in.

Unfortunately Green hasn't sorted the Tigers lineout, it still looks a little liable to fail at key times or in key games (Vs Saints).

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 24 Dec 2019, 9:08 am

The lineout works fine between the two 22m lines. However it falls apart when attacking or defending.

As always there are multiple reasons when a lineout crumbles. We see shoddy throwing, confused calling, lifters going missing and jumpers dropping balls under no pressure. There is a distinct lack of confidence.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 25 Dec 2019, 12:14 am

Having had a re-watch of the Chiefs game at home I do see some positives in areas.

Taufua looks like he could be a Prem player of the season in the right team. His impact was excellent. Lavanini has added a lot as well. I think it's noticeable that with other carriers in the pack we are seeing Genge run some more intelligent lines. He's an excellent carrier but when our forwards lack go forward he sometimes seems to be running straight at defenders out of frustration just looking for the big collision.

The backs showed their class in the first 40. Reid is starting to look more the player he did for Leinster with stronger backs around him. We will really need Reid, Taute and Veainu to step-up during the 6 Nations.

The line-out implosions once again hurt us. Borthwick has his work cut out there.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 25 Dec 2019, 12:44 am

The A-team vs Wanderers game was brilliant last night. Very few fans but a cracking game and one of my favourite trips to Welford Road in the last 3 seasons despite the loss.

Costelow was once again a standout. He looks a brilliant talent and every bit a future international. His distribution and running are excellent but his striking of the ball from hand and off the tee (a shame he missed the last gasp penalty chance) is great, plus his defence is ferocious for a smaller back. I hope he gets first team game time this season.

Batley looked good and kept going late into the game which is promising given he's a big lad.

Gough, Lavin and Smith (captain on Monday night) are interesting ones moving forward. All talented (Smith as a carrier, Gough a powerful tackler, Lavin is quick and was strong over the ball last night) but haven't pushed through much despite all being in the final year of their development contracts from my understanding.

Prop stocks look strong with Whitcombe and Dimen starting then Lines coming on and playing well. Cortes continued his fringe role this season by benching behind Dimen.

In less exciting news I once again wasn't too impressed by Viljeon. George Martin had a mixed game as well, some good work combined with spilling the ball in contact under little pressure and floating in/out of the game. Martin is definitely a talent for the future though.

A shame to lose against a strong Northampton line-up but it was a cracking game of rugby to watch a few days before Christmas.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 25 Dec 2019, 7:18 am

I think Martin will come good but it might take a year or two more. It can be tough for player naturally big to acclimatise to senior rugby where they are no longer naturally stronger than those around them. At 19 he's got time to fill out and finish growing.

Well considering the Saints backline looked premiership ready and ours looked mainly development ready I thought we did well. Good tenacity to stay in the game and keep fighting back.

I'm a little frustrated we haven't seen more of the development backrow. I've only seen Lavin a couple of times and he looks like a Guy Thompson style player, mobile, physical and competes for everything. Smith very aggressive and loves to carry. Hope we see more of them during the final Euro games and 6N PRC (if there is anymore of those left). They've all been on loan at Yorkshire this season but that won't have been an enjoyable experience for them.

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