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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 Wed 01 Jul 2020, 12:20 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Which clubs are going to be able to offer Manu the type of money he is on? I thought he was making c. £500k at Leicester.

The other point is what happens to players who are effectively being let go? I assume their fixed term contract would have to be paid out. Will there be a settlement?

On Manu, he'd go to France I'd guess. He re-signed to the 2021 summer, i.e. keeping him England contention through to another Lions tour. Perhaps he thinks his body won't make it to another World Cup so wants a payday now. It wouldn't surprise if Gats took him on the Lions tour even if he was playing in France so not in England contention. He fits Gats game plan pretty perfectly.

On the later I don't know to be honest. If players feel their contracts have been broken then there may be settlements. Given paid out contracts and transfer fees count towards the cap it's a ropey situation if players are moving between Prem clubs!

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 12:33 pm

king_carlos wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Taufua would be the big blow I agree. No idea where we'd manage to scrounge up a replacement for him at the minute but with some dead rubber games ahead we could at least trial the senior development options, I like the look of Lavin.

Losing three centres would hit the numbers a bit so we'd need at least one more body in there. I'd like to see Manu complete his final season with us but sadly doesn't look like it. Hopefully we can find a big lump without a club to slot into the squad there. TV is unreplaceable but if Tom Homer still hasn't got a deal he'd offer some experience at the back for a season.

We are low on numbers at loosehead as is. If Bateman goes we will definitely need a replacement and a loosehead specialist. I still think we need a final prop for the squad on top of that as well.

Homer would offer a goal kicking option at the back as well. Can't say I'm his biggest fan though. I'm not sure how Zach Henry is from the tee and if Reid leaves we will lose a reserve goal kicker. Hardwick is an excellent goa l kicker though and I hope he plays a lot this season both from 10 and 12. If Veainu leaves then an extension for Thompstone until the end of the postponed season at least might work.

In terms of centres I'd like to see Hardwick and Worth get time in the midfield whilst finishing off this season. Then McGinity could target replacements for the start of the 2020/21 season.

If Gigena is coming back then prop situation wouldn't be dire with Leatigaga able to play both sides, Genge re-signed and Cole unlikely to be with England. I'd take Logo back in a heartbeat as Bateman's replacement though. Oisin Heffernan (Notts) and Ben Betts (now at Donny) would be solid loan options from the Championship.

Taufua would be a huge loss.

Cole isn't an international anymore but Genge is and Gigena was in the last Argentina training squad. I'd happily take Mulipola back for the right price. Heffernan was rumoured to have an offer on the table from Connaught but was putting it off because he wanted to stay in England as he is EQ.

Homer isn't the best 15 going but he's experienced and he's a good all rounder. Would cover whilst Steward develops and we decide if/who we want to recruit for next summer.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 12:50 pm

Fair point on Gigena being in the Argentina squad. His call-up is much deserved but I do doubt he will get many caps soon though.

Chaparro and Vivas on the loosehead are very good players. If Chaparro plays tighthead more with Figallo no longer in the squad then there may be an opening but Medrano is a very good tighthead and Herrera was recalled to replace Figallo in that training squad.

Chaparro is excellent on both sides but if I'd struggle to see either of Chaparro and Medrano not starting if fit. If Chaparro were playing tighthead then you'd need to pick one or the other. Basically Argentina have a lot of talented props.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 1:01 pm

Argentina always have talented props, it's pretty much a given but their scrum hasn't been as dominant as in previous years. Gigena is a very good technical scrummager so might get a go. Slightly selfish on our part but if he doesn't get many more caps he'll be a regular feature for us.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 1:44 pm

Ayerza showed that it is still possible to have a long international career and be invaluable to your club. I really hope Gigena gets the caps he deserves I just feel it might be a few more years away given the strength of Chaparro and Medrano. Gigena's injury record is good too which will help him. He's improved so much under Stankovich. It is a welcome success story of the clubs recruitment and coaching during a period when both those things have been pretty pish.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 2:52 pm

Agreed his development has been exceptional. From someone who was only ever going to be squad filler from when he arrived to someone who is pushing Genge to improve his set piece work in order to keep his place. He's a little bit unlucky that rugby has moved on quite a lot in recent years, had he come through 10 years ago he'd have been very highly rated with his scrum game though Argentina had some pretty good options then as well.

Slightly disappointed that our shirt a announcement today is only a technical one with the designs now not coming out for a couple of weeks. I wonder if this is because certain players modelled the kits for the promo shots and those players might not be staying.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 3:46 pm

Apparently there's a new deadline tomorrow for the players who hadn't sign yesterday.

I'd guess that one of Manu, Veainu and Taufua might be moving on and that leaving players wage used to offer the other two better deals. Given those three stars will have lots of options I'd be pretty stunned if we kept all three.

Reid and Eastmond might fancy moving on for game time anyway. When Scott signed he was effectively a 5th experienced centre joining and his best position is 12. Most clubs use around 5 senior centres regularly in a season so they would get some game time but Scott signing must be a pretty clear indication to Reid and Eastmond about where they sit in the pecking order.

I've got everything crossed that Taufua can agree on extension!

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 4:49 pm

The rumour I've heard it's not for all the players just the ones that were still negotiating at the time of the deadline. Bateman is gone which is unfortunate as he has a solid pro and he was the kind of personality that had a good rapport with fans and other players. Could be a loss to the club in that sense, "the people's Captain".

He's Welsh qualified though so could be off to somewhere like Dragons.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 5:02 pm

https://twitter.com/BBCRLSport/status/1278352001416540162

BBC Radio Leicester understands SIX players have been 'stood down' by
@LeicesterTigers
in a dispute over wage cuts, including England and Lions centre Manu Tuilagi.

The futures of teammates Telusa Veainu, Jordan Taufua and Greg Bateman, among others, are in doubt.

They are usually on the money.

https://lastwordonrugby.com/2020/07/01/exclusive-greg-bateman-released-leicester-tigers-contract-disputes/

That's what I can find on Bateman but can't say I know the site at all. If Greg is leaving it'd be a shame for it to happen in these circumstances as he's been very good for Tigers since signing. His form was worse last season though and he is noticeably the worst scrummager of a group who are mostly excellent in the scrum. A couple of regions could use a prop and he's WQP.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 01 Jul 2020, 8:50 pm

CEO Andrea says the five going are Manu, TV, Reid, Bateman and Eastmond.

So if that is the five then we need a fullback, a centre and at least one prop (we already needed one so really two). We'd have the cap to get those in and save funds.

Good interview, very transparent.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 12:31 am

Media reports are that Taufua is going as well but as he's out the country the club feel it's a different situation hence not mentioned. Bondi retweeted Alex Lowe stating that anyway. Lowe is usually reliable with rugby and Bondi on the money with Tigers. Some saying Taufua is about to sign for Beziers. If he's still in NZ I'd love for him to sign a short term contract to play some Super Rugby Aotearoa.

I will hold out desperate hope that Taufua could still re-sign further down the line but it doesn't sound like it. His impact in his brief time this season was so impressive that I hoped he might have a similar impact to Newby.

1.Genge 2.Youngs 3.Cole 4.Lavanini 5.Enever 6.Liebenberg 7.Reffell 8.Brink
9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.Nadolo 12.Scott 13.Taute 14.Olowofela 15.Steward

16.Mamukashvili 17.Gigena 18.Heyes 19.Wells 20.Lewis 21.White 22.Hardwick 23.Potter

1.Leatigaga 2.Kerr 3.Dimen 4.Green 5.Henderson 6.Gough 7.Coghlan 8.Smith
9.JvP 10.Henry 11.Browning 12.McPhillips 13.Worth 14.Aspland-Robinson 15.Simmons

16.Clare 17.Whitcombe 18.Rowntree 19.Martin 20.Lavin 21.Law 22.Glynn 23.Kelly

- Hooker, scrum-half and fly-half are looking good.

- Prop will need another senior squad addition ASAP. Logo returning would cheer me up. He is very close to Manu and Veainu though...

- Second row has depth with Manz and Chessum also in the development squad but is lacking some starting XV quality. With a lot of cap freed up suddenly I'd love to see Alemanno come in. Lavanini staying and Montoya signing might help there.

- Back row and centre are short on senior players but for the rest of this season whenever it restarts I honestly wouldn't mind the youngsters getting game time. Hardwick and Worth in midfield. Lewis, Smith and Gough in the back row. Gives more time for recruiting longer term replacements.

- Back three needs depth particularly with Aspland-Robinson still injured and Potter only just joining. I would like to see Simmons get chances at 15 given JvP and Law are coming along the conveyor belt at 9. Tigers have good links with Nottingham so perhaps an opportunity for David Williams and Jack Spittle? Or maybe even dual-reg for David Halaifonua given Deacs and AA are at Notts?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 5:13 am

Big losses for you guys, more so TV and Taufua I guess? Leaves Manu in a strange position, I'm guessing he will not move to another English club.

Looking at that squad without fresh additions, I suspect you'll be battling at the foot of the table again, just above us!

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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 8:14 am

Given most of the other clubs in the Premiership have made similar pay cuts and given the loophole on players wages being counted at 75% for the next season prior to signing on the 30th June, I doubt anyone has the cap to play with. The only club who probably have the cash are Bristol. That said they have probably used their cap up at this stage.

France probably will be a likely destination as the rumour mill is saying Manu has been talking to Racing.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 8:20 am

Three big losses and three meh to be honest. In my opinion we had too many senior centres on the books but losing three isn't ideal. At a guess I'd say that's £1.5m worth of salary walking away from the club and both of last year's marquee players. If we had been flying high I'd be more gutted but as we're not I think it's a chance to spend the money more wisely. 

For me we must go shopping urgently for;

Centre
Fullback
Prop 

I lose track of who's signed new deals and who hasn't but people like Dunbar, Volvola, Murimurivalu and Homer were all due to be out of contract and could be available and would do a job. I'd sign a prop from the Championship I keep hearing good things about Heffernan at Notts and he was voted into the fans Championship squad of the season. Someone mid twenties with potential for Stankovitch to work with.

If there's cash left after that, as I'm sure we're saving money at this point then;

Starting quality lock or backrow
LH prop project.

If we sign a starting quality lock then Wells covers backrow next season. If we sign a backrow then he stays covering lock. I'm not sure we'll have the available funds to sign both a starting lock and a backrow. First port of call would be Argentina though to see who's got dual citizenship and wants out of the Jags. I'd love to see Alemmano and de la Fuente but that's a bit hopeful.

Situation isn't ideal but Borthwick has the chance to play with the squad a bit more than maybe he thought he would.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 8:51 am

Are you seeing Manu as huge loss?

Yes he's fantastic, but do you really get your worth from him? Surely the money could be spent better in the pack?

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 9:11 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Are you seeing Manu as huge loss?

Yes he's fantastic, but do you really get your worth from him? Surely the money could be spent better in the pack?

Well there's Bateman, Reid and Eastmond who aren't really a loss. Bateman is a good squad player and the other two have been disappointments. If they can get better deals elsewhere then good luck to them.

Then there's the three who are a loss. Manu is the least of these as he's paid a whopping salary and hasn't had a stand out game for Tigers in a while. Been good for England but not really been as good for us. Telusa is a bit similar, he's been regularly excellent when he's playing but he's had a few injuries that have kept him out a while and he will neither be cheap nor is he getting any younger. I'll miss him ball in hand carving up defences though. Taufua (if he does go, that's currently uncertain) will be the big loss as he's been the backrow we've needed for some time, great all rounder and can play 6,7,8. Can't see us being able to replace him.

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Post by Welly on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 9:52 am

The way I see it that this has really just speed up those who are leaving.
I couldn't see Manu, Eastmond, Bateman, Veainu, Reid being here after next season.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 10:10 am

Welly wrote: The way I see it that this has really just speed up those who are leaving.
I couldn't see Manu, Eastmond, Bateman, Veainu, Reid being here after next season.

Agree there, Welly. With Manu's massive wage in particular. Now that Ford will be first marquee Manu's salary is a gigantic chunk of salary cap for a player who's best Tigers days were already behind us, sadly.

I'd hoped Veainu would re-sign but it always felt unlikely. He has had injury issues and will want to maximise his earnings.

I still think it's shame that we didn't see Reid get a run at 12 in a better backline. Matt Scott is definitely an upgrade though and I'd be very happy with Hardwick getting game time at 12 outside of Ford. I think that would be really good for his development.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 10:19 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Looking at that squad without fresh additions, I suspect you'll be battling at the foot of the table again, just above us!

Agreed. My big hope is that Borthwick can get the lineout working. The scrum is already very good and Bateman leaving won't make it any worse to be honest. If we have a merely functioning lineout on top of a dominant scrum then building field position and kicking points becomes much easier. Scrum penalty, kick to touch, set-up a maul, etc. Not enthralling but doing well that well would be a lot better than the recent dirge.

Another senior prop to keep that scrummaging power and an international class lock to help with the lineout would be my hope for first signings. Mulipola and Alemanno would fit well.

We have really good academy talent in the back row, scrum-half and back three who are on that verge of being ready to press the senior side. Arguably also lock with Cam Henderson re-joining and George Martin being gigantic for his age. I'd prefer both get game time in the PRC/Challenge Cup then Premiership though.

With a diabolical lineout it's difficult to really see young scrum-halves, back rows or back three players settle though. Especially those in the backs if they are lacking a platform. That's a reason why Ben White has impressed me so much at 9. Not the finished product by any means but he's done well in senior rugby with little platform to work from.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 10:39 am

Manu is a sad loss all round, but given his injury record and likely England/Lions call ups you can understand Tigers finally giving up on him. They've pulled out all the stops in the past few years to get him contract terms that enable him to stay, and to be fair its paid off for Manu in getting to the world cup and being a first choice under Jones when he was on the verge of taking himself out of the equation by moving to France or Japan. It'd be interesting to know how much his agent has played a part in this though, trying to play hardball. Its a very dodgy time to be getting yourself on the market if your prime motivation is big money, even the French clubs will be struggling to commit to big contracts right now. Japan could be an option for him but that would mean him giving up his England ambitions and quite possibly the Lions too. Seems inconceivable that theres any Premiership clubs who can afford financially or under the new cap rules to give him the sort of terms he seems to have been holding out to retain.
Maybe there was a really hard nosed approach from Tigers management to almost force him out to make that big saving, its really hard to know the full politics and thinking.

Regardless the club has lost a real lifer player and some genuine quality. No Tuilagi under contract at Tigers, when did that last happen? The end of an era it seems. Certainly no room for sentiment under current conditions.

The coaches really seem to be the key for future success for Tigers. Its likely to be more than a one season deal, but they art least have the set up to turn average or raw players into better ones. Hopefully they can quickly build a new ethos thats been lacking in recent seasons.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 10:49 am

Freddie Tuilagi is Manu's agent, Goose. He does have a rep for influencing the players he represents (many family members) to chase the biggest contract regardless of other considerations.

Given how many players from Pacific Isles have been ripped off when moving into pro rugby I can frankly understand an agent who represents several many successful PI players running a hard line during contract negotiations to be honest.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 10:58 am

I also remember when Freddie was reduced to dancing in his pants to entratain at a members dinner to earn a living so I can kinda get that. Personality wise I do very much suspect Manu wouldn't have been the one driving this, he hasn't ever struck as someone who would under stand or be interested in handling contract negotiations.
The market isn't there to be in the position Manu now is if he wants to keep his England ambitions alive. I do feel he may well find himself in a very tough situation trying to match even the reduced package Tigers were offering. Really hope this doesn't mean its the last we see of him in an England shirt, but I cannot see a Premiership club being able to accommodate him.

After all he's battled through in his career it'd be a massive shame to see him wasted in Japan at just 29 . . . . .. .

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 11:35 am

I think he'll go to France for the highest bidder. Probably Beziers, fair play to him. He originally extended with Tigers until 2021 which suggests targeting another Lions tour rather than another World Cup. Even if he's playing D2 in France I think Gatland would take him to SA next year if he's fit. He suits Gatland's game plan and offers things no other centres can.

I do fear it will mean we've seen him in an England shirt for the last time though which would be a real shame.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 11:47 am

Agree with all that Carlos. I don't know Manu's financial situation but I do know one of this former teachers and he's not got much in the way of career opportunities post rugby. Rugby is such a short career I don't blame him for taking the cash. It does look like the end of his England career, Eddie Jones will be pulling out what little hair he has left.

For Tigers I'm no more worried by relegation now than I was before this happened. We've lost two starters who are both outside backs. We've still got Nadolo as a backline wrecking ball and a massive prospect at 15 in Steward. Borthwick is the new head coach and his speciality is the lineout which is our biggest failing. Our scrum is still fearsome but we regularly blow at least three lineouts less than 10m from the opposition try line every game. You can't operate like that and finish in the top half. As Carlos says win scrum penalty, kick to corner and then mail over the try line is a great Tigers combination. Mr P Try hasn't been pulling in the tries he used, time to being that back.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 11:57 am

A fair few fans have said that being relegated might be the only way for Tigers to overhaul their squad. In very strange way this might allow it to happen without relegation.

Our blindsides in Liebenberg, Lewis and Wells are all good lineout options. So is Reffell in fact but isn't used as often when partnering Liebenberg. So Borthwick has options to work with.

With regards to England, Manu is a big blow as he offers a tactical difference to the other centres. That said Joe Marchant looks like a ready to go top international 13 and Ollie Lawrence is very talented. There are options coming through but none will offer Manu's sheer power.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 12:49 pm

Spot on with the blindsides being good lineout options. I'm a little concerned that if Taufua goes we are short a big ball carrier and we're leaving a lot on the shoulders of Brink.

Borthwick really has no excuse not to have a top quality lineout in operation. He's got three international hookers, two good club level lineout leaders, an international beast of a lock and then several backrow combinations that could provide a lot of lineout ability.

We could easily line up Lavanini, Green/Enever, Lewis, Reffell, Liebenburg. Mass of options there. With the development squad there's Lavin who I've liked when I've seen him play who can play 6 or 7 and is 6ft2 and I'm sure covered lock in a game or two for Yorkshire last season. Gough and Smith aren't short either.

Is we can get the rolling maul working up to its potential then we'll have a bigger weapon than Manu. Chiefs have shown you can destroy teams with a good rolling maul and it used to be a staple of ours.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 02 Jul 2020, 1:52 pm

The caveat I'd put on 3 international hookers is that Youngs has been way off his best but still a guaranteed starter. I adore Tom, he's been a brilliant Tiger and I'd be happy with him extending beyond his 1 year deal in a similar role to Julian White back in the day - particularly with Clare and Kerr coming out of contract and Vanes so young. He isn't a week in week out starter anymore though. Mamukashvili is a really shrewd signing I think and hopefully Kerr can get game time again. Montoya of course is a brilliant signing further down the line.

Time will tell. When Enever signed I really hoped that he was sort of replacing either Kalamafoni or Thompson's place in the squad. I.e. Enever as a lock, then Wells can cover 6, Liebenberg covering 8, Brink covers the back row, etc. There's some versatility in our back row options. Then a top lock could still replace Spencer. Hopefully that can still happen.

Taufua would be a huge loss to the squad. He's a top international quality flanker that doesn't miss games for international windows and covers the whole back row. Ideal. Also a very fun to watch.

Our forwards have a lot more carriers now than a few seasons back so it isn't as huge an issue. Genge, Leatigaga, Lavanini, Liebenberg and Brink are all good carriers. Heyes throws his weight around too and as I've said annoyingly frequently I'd love Logo to re-join. Taufua is a tough player to replace though.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 03 Jul 2020, 12:19 pm

Academy grad David Williams joins on loan from Nottingham. He's been really good for them this season. I'm happy with that.

9.Youngs, White, JvP, Law
10.Ford, Henry
11.Nadolo, Potter, Browning
12.Scott, Hardwick, Glynn
13.Taute, Worth, Kelly
14.Olowofela, Aspland-Robinson, Williams
15.Steward, Simmons, McPhillips

Obviously not ideal but starting to cover bases at least.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 03 Jul 2020, 3:30 pm

Williams strike rate in the Championship is excellent. Well worth a punt and he's a Leicester lad. Only 24. Could be another Holmes and will cost very little. Good business as far as I'm concerned, nothing wrong with raiding the Championship.

Glynn won't be senior rugby ready yet and Kelly might need another year as it'll be quite a jump from Loughborough University to full pro team. We need an extra centre ideally a 12/13 rather than a 10/12 though.

If there's an experienced fullback around as well that wouldn't a bad thing though I think Williams can slot in there if required.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 03 Jul 2020, 3:48 pm

Latest rumours are that there may be a U-turn from Manu and that Taufua is still weighing up options. JT has a big offer from Beziers but is considering seeing out his Tigers contract first according to the Telegraph. Nadolo and Taufua are very good friends so what is likely their final chance to play together again might be a draw I suppose.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 03 Jul 2020, 4:33 pm

A big part of Nadolo choosing Tigers is that his partner is pregnant with their first and wants to be in an English speaking country. He may have been drawn to Tigers by his mate JT. Taufua might think the money on the table isn't that bad and doesn't want to head for a pipe dream in second division France whilst his mate is in Leicester.

Manu has a tendency to leave negotiations right to the wire, always a problem getting a new contract over the line with him. Question will be, is Borthwick fussed. If not Manu might find himself out in the cold. Had two other centres not walked then Manu's position might be already decided.

If we could keep the pair of them that would be a good result. A Ford, Scott, Manu, Nadolo backline would be an ideal place to develop a couple of youngsters as well.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 05 Jul 2020, 2:58 pm

Jack van Poortvliet, Freddie Steward, George Martin, Thom Smith and Osman Dimen sign extensions.

I'm interested to see how Thom Smith does during the conclusion of the postponed season. We are light in the back row currently so hopefully Taylor Gough and Smith can get some game time in lower pressure games.

JvP and Steward look like potential internationals. Martin is a mountain of a man with lots of ability.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 05 Jul 2020, 3:33 pm

Thom Smith does seem highly rated. Slightly odd he's signed a new deal less than 6 months after signing his last one. I still like the look of Lavin the most, during the 7s he looked like he had a bit of the Guy Thompson about him. Hoping they both get a go before next season seeing as the remainder of this is effectively a dead rubber.

The academy is churning out good young players, we just need to develop them with constructive game time. I think we did that quote well last season. The development squad recruitment has been good this summer as well. Dan Kelly looks like a natural monster of a centre and Henderson seems to be in the long term plans after he confirmed he's got a one year development contract followed by a two year senior deal. Over to you Mr Borthwick.

Some unsubstantiated rumours that the club have contacted Jeronimo de la Fuente regarding his availability amid the Jaguares issues. Jags captain, 50 caps for Argentina, great step and all round game. Leads the defence domestically and internationally. Could be a great centre partner for Scott.

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Post by Welly on Sun 05 Jul 2020, 3:36 pm

Rumours as in he followed tigers on instagram?

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 05 Jul 2020, 3:49 pm

Welly wrote: Rumours as in he followed tigers on instagram?

Pretty much the start of it. Normally is the first give away of a signing although could easily have been him following his mate Big Tomas.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 05 Jul 2020, 5:01 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Welly wrote: Rumours as in he followed tigers on instagram?

Pretty much the start of it. Normally is the first give away of a signing although could easily have been him following his mate Big Tomas.

Tuilagi just followed Sale on Instagram.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 05 Jul 2020, 5:56 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Welly wrote: Rumours as in he followed tigers on instagram?

Pretty much the start of it. Normally is the first give away of a signing although could easily have been him following his mate Big Tomas.

Tuilagi just followed Sale on Instagram.

Sounds about right. I doubt Manu looks after his own social media profile and his agent/brother is a pro at dragging out negotiations to get the deal he wants. Would be the kind of thing I'd expect him to do at this stage either way.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 06 Jul 2020, 11:32 am

Extended contracts for the kids being rolled out. Aspland-Robinson, Olowefela & Reffell so far.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 06 Jul 2020, 11:38 am

Reffell is brilliant news. Hopefully that's a long term contract with the option of rolling extension such as Tomas Francis.

Pleased with SAR and Olowofela as well.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 06 Jul 2020, 12:39 pm

George Worth too now.

and Ben White.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 06 Jul 2020, 2:30 pm

All good deals for the club. I hope they've tied Reffell down to a long term deal, at least three years but hopefully four.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 07 Jul 2020, 11:00 am

Wells & Gigena so far today.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 07 Jul 2020, 11:02 am

Gigena's an important one in my opinion. Keeps depth in are area we are actually strong already.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 07 Jul 2020, 11:13 am

king_carlos wrote:Gigena's an important one in my opinion. Keeps depth in are area we are actually strong already.

A vital signing with Bateman likely to leave. At 25 he's got years left in the tank and has really improved over his time with us. With Cortes already gone and Bateman likely to follow we're down to five senior props. Still think we need another but with Gigena staying we can afford for Bateman's replacement to be a Championship prop or a project player.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 07 Jul 2020, 11:30 am

And now Leatigaga

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 07 Jul 2020, 11:37 am

Another prop at a good age secured. Has been a good acquisition so far, would like to see him a little more explosive but a working attacking structure might help there.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 07 Jul 2020, 12:00 pm

And Liebenberg

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 07 Jul 2020, 12:09 pm

LondonTiger wrote:And Liebenberg

"Long term". Hopefully that means for at least the next three years. I thought Liebenburg really added something at the start of the season (particularly in that win Vs Glaws) and a loss when injured, we seemed to pick back up a little when he returned (he played in the Wasps and Wuss wins). Seems to like the graft in the tight areas and keeps his discipline. Does a lot of talking on the pitch though with his accent in not sure how much his teammates pick up.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 07 Jul 2020, 12:50 pm

Cracking news on these. Leatigaga and Liebenberg have been really strong signings. I'd view Liebenberg as a captain option when Ford etc are on international duty. It's good that we have several young players in the squad with leadership abilities - Liebenberg, Reffell, White.

Leatigaga has been a really solid signing. His scrummaging on both sides (albeit only briefly at loosehead) was strong last season and he's a huge physical presence around the fringes.

With the talented academy grads in the back row I wouldn't mind Liebenberg covering lock on occasion as Jean-Luc du Preez did for Sale this season. If it opens up game time for Lewis in particular then it could work well.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 07 Jul 2020, 12:56 pm

Good call on Liebenburg in the second row. If he's paired with Lavanini that should work well in the scrum and then offer a Lewis, Taufua, Brink backrow. Three good lineout options and two big backrow carriers. Someone would have to step up to lineout leader though.

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