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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 LondonTiger on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 11:02 am

LondonTiger wrote:10:00 Luke Wallace - Solid no 7. Certainly no better than Guy Thompson, but younger.

10:30 Guy Porter - Outside back arriving on recommendation of our new attack coach. London born so EQP.

11:00 Kobus van Wyk - Outside back with Super Rugby experience with Stormers and Sharks, currently at Hurricanes. Another player I know zip about.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 11:06 am

LondonTiger wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:10:00 Luke Wallace - Solid no 7. Certainly no better than Guy Thompson, but younger.

10:30 Guy Porter - Outside back arriving on recommendation of our new attack coach. London born so EQP.

11:00 Kobus van Wyk - Outside back with Super Rugby experience with Stormers and Sharks, currently at Hurricanes. Another player I know zip about.

Feels like a McGinity signing. He was one of the top agents in the game before running recruitment for Worcester and SRU. So he has about as many connections as anyone in the game. We need outside backs so he fills a hole in the squad. Physical bloke as well. Potentially replacing Thompstone's squad place.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 11:32 am

LondonTiger wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:10:00 Luke Wallace - Solid no 7. Certainly no better than Guy Thompson, but younger.

10:30 Guy Porter - Outside back arriving on recommendation of our new attack coach. London born so EQP.

11:00 Kobus van Wyk - Outside back with Super Rugby experience with Stormers and Sharks, currently at Hurricanes. Another player I know zip about.

11:30 Kini Murimurivalu - Another outside back, 30 caps for Fiji and over 100 games for La Rochelle.



Not Roku, KC, so hopefully trousers are safe - but perhaps similar.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 11:37 am

Murimurivalu is an strong signing. He's a pretty direct replacement for Veainu but is arguably a more natural fullback, though he covers wing well.

When it was announced he was leaving La Rochelle I mentioned him a few times as a potential Holmes/Thompstone replacement. I'm feeling much more positive about our depth in the outside backs with Murimurivalu and van Wyk signed.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 11:39 am

I didn't think we'd go for Murimurivalu because of his age and cost but I'm really happy we have, always liked watching him in action. Very good fullback in defence and attack.

Nadolo, van Wyk and Murimurivalu is a pretty hefty back three as well. Not looking for just pace are we.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 12:11 pm

And Moroni rounds things out, as expected.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 12:23 pm

Looking at the overall quality of the squad left, im interested to know how Tigers fans see next season in terms of Europe and the league?

To me I dont see that squad really pushing for any silverware but given the last couple of seasons would a valiant effort in the Europes Group stages and a mid table finish make the fans happy?

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 12:32 pm

Murimurivalu is a good signing...thats a player i was hoping we might have a sneaky go for at full back

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 12:35 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:Looking at the overall quality of the squad left, im interested to know how Tigers fans see next season in terms of Europe and the league?

To me I dont see that squad really pushing for any silverware but given the last couple of seasons would a valiant effort in the Europes Group stages and a mid table finish make the fans happy?

Finishing this postponed season I just want us to blood some of the younger players, get a functioning lineout (yep functioning would be an improvement...) and win our home games.

Next season I'd like to see us Challenge mid table in the league. The middle of the Premiership is very tight at the minute. I'd hope to really challenge Bath, Wasps, Quins and Gloucester though. I'd really expect us to be comfortably above LI, Worcester and Falcons. I think Exeter and Sale will be the top teams next season with Bristol and Saints also strong under good coaches.

Presuming we are in the Challenge Cup again getting to the semi-final or even finalwould be great experience for our talented youngsters. We are in a Challenge Cup QF after the drivel from this season so I'd hope to make the knockouts again and do well in them with some improvements under Borthwick.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 12:42 pm

Well, we will not be in the Champions Cup (unless we win the Challenge Cup). So what I want to see:

The rest of this premiership season - allow the younger players get game time but alongside established players - not just by fielding weaker sides. Look to start to build some consistency of performance especially in defence and at the lineout.

Challenge Cup - Go all guns blazing for this look to play strongest available side to hopefully win the 1/4 final then see what happens next.


Next Season - Look to make Welford Road a difficult place to visit. Need to win at least 7 of the 11 home matches. Look to be more solid defensively away from home. Gain more bonus points (we only have 2 from 13 matches. Wuss have 6 and are 2 points ahead of us, LI have 10 and are 6 points ahead of us). Good run in the Challenge Cup.

So in short a mid table finish will be a step ahead of recent seasons. We really need to be improving the foundations to push on, and that would be a decent first step.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 1:08 pm

Agree with all that LT. Do the winner of the Challenge Cup still qualify for the Champions Cup?

Brink is still rehabbing and van Wyk won't join until his Canes contract is done. I'm not sure what's happening with the ITM Cup which usually follows Super Rugby. Moroni is due to join 'after contractual obligations with Jaguars' but the Jags did tell players they could look at other options to keep playing rugby given the have no Super Rugby games in the foreseeable future.

Murimurivalu will presumably join immediately though.

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

16.Mamukashvili 17.Gigena 18.Leatigaga 19.Green 20.Lewis 21.White 22.Hardwick 23.Steward

That's without Brink, Moroni and van Wyk. I'd expect that side to do well in the Challenge Cup knockouts.

I also agree wholeheartedly about the youngsters getting game time alongside the first XV players. I've no interest seeing Lenny, Ford, Scott, Taute and Nadolo in the same backline for one game then Hardwick at 10 with McPhillips at 12 in the midweek game. Mix and match to give everyone a chance to impress.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 2:31 pm

Today's announcements do give us some good options in the backs. Really impressed by the club's recruitment, McGinity has done well. I would have preferred another ball carrying backrow to Wallace but if he is going to rotate with Reffell and free up Taufua to play more at 8 then I think that's better for our backrow as then both 7 and 8 are accomplished at getting over the ball and that makes us better defensively.

Losing Manu and TV were big blows but Murimurivalu and Moroni are exciting replacements. Moroni's ability to drop into the back three is handy as well. We seem to have been rather keen on utility signings under McGinity when it comes to the backs. Talking up can Wyk's previous experience at centre as well as his normal wing berth, Murimurivalu good on wing and 15, Nadolo wing and centre, Potter wing and centre, Porter wing and fullback and Scott is happy at both 12 and 13.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 21 Jul 2020, 1:34 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/53447399

Side note on what happened to former Tigers academy wonderkid Tyrese Johnson-Fisher

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 23 Jul 2020, 10:29 am

http://www.fscheetahs.co.za/news/toyota-cheetah-squad-for-2020-20200722

Wiese to Tigers being reported by the Cheetahs there. Seems a done deal. Happy with that.

2018/19

6.(Denton), Williams, Wells
7.O'Connor, Thompson, Evans
8.Kalamafoni, Mapapalangi, F Tuilagi Jnr

2019/20

6.Liebenberg, Coghlan, Lewis
7.Taufua, Thompson, Reffell
8.Kalamafoni, Boladau, Batley

2020/21

6.Liebenberg, Lewis, Coghlan, Lavin
7.Taufua, Reffell, Wallace
8.Brink, Wiese, Smith

Definitely moving in the right direction. Wiese signing makes me less concerned about Brink's injury record. If we can rotate Brink then he could be a huge asset in the bigger games.

Feeling more and more positive. I still have reservations about our second rows but hopefully Borthwick can get more out of them, particularly at the lineout. With Brink, Wiese and Wallace all coming in I think Liebenberg might cover second row a bit similar to J-L du Preez for Sale.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 23 Jul 2020, 11:35 am

Wiese confirmed by us now.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 23 Jul 2020, 11:36 am

KC,

Hopefully this means we will no longer see locks at 6. Wells and Green should only be in the second row.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 23 Jul 2020, 11:44 am

Backrow stocks looking very good if Weise comes in. Locks look ok, maybe start of another high quality lock to partner Lavanini but we have four good development locks in behind the first team so maybe we are hoping to grow our own which I have a lot of time for.

Still think we need another prop, ideally a loosehead as Genge will play international rugby and then we are one injury away from no loosehead on the bench bar a 19 year old. Whether we go development or old stager getting a final smaller contract option I don't mind.

Happy not to recruit any more backs and use the young options to cover.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 23 Jul 2020, 12:23 pm

LondonTiger wrote:KC,

Hopefully this means we will no longer see locks at 6. Wells and Green should only be in the second row.

We can but dream.

My usual dour cynicism aside I do trust that the new set-up can move the club in the right direction. McGinity has an excellent CV and reputation for the job he's in. Borthwick is a very good coach whose specialties are the exact areas our pack really need to improve. Walters has an excellent CV and reputation similar to McGinity. Smurf in a more off field role can definitely have a positive impact on player management and continuing to rebuild the pathway from academy, through dev squad, onto senior squad.

Wiese feels a similar signing to Vermuelen or Kirsten at Chiefs. Slips under the radar then before you know it they've started most your first XV games and are being named in a few 'Premiership teams of the week' and the like.

The average age of the squad is moving in a positive direction as well for a longer term rebuild. The only forwards over 30 are Youngs, Cole and Green. Wallace and Mamukashvili will join them in October. That's even more positive considering hooker, tighthead, lock and flanker are positions with strength coming through the academy.

There's a long way to come but having given the club a lot of grief when I felt it was due I'm now much happier to give them due praise for moving things in the right direction.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 03 Aug 2020, 6:34 pm

Ryan Bower rejoins the club to increase the cover at LH.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 03 Aug 2020, 6:46 pm

Well it's a meh signing. Cheap squad depth. I'm sure he was a tighthead coming through the academy but ended up a loosehead at Wuss so a bit of versatility which never hurts. If the development players have anything about them they'll be pushing hard to overtake him sooner rather than later. I do like that they've brought back another local lad rather then go and sign a similar quality SA or PI journeyman to just pad the squad.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 23 Aug 2020, 10:38 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3bBrm8YEIk&feature=youtu.be

A good interview there with Ben White. He's an impressive young player and I'm glad he's getting captaincy chances with the first team.

His points about the penalty count flipping in the second half, using penalties to build pressure and needing to win the middle third of the match were interesting.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 25 Aug 2020, 10:44 am

Looking at stats from the weekend and seen that George Martin made the most tackles (23) and took the most lineouts (11) in round 15. Really impressive from a guy who's recently turned 19 and was playing out of position.

I hope we can see plenty more of Martin and Cam Henderson whilst finishing this season off.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 25 Aug 2020, 10:54 am

Watching them Vs Bath it was like looking at the future lock combination for Tigers. Martin very much played like the all action modern second row whilst looking like an old school aggressive number 4. Henderson looked good in his cameo and I liked how he practically sprinted to the touchline so he could get on the field once being told he was coming on. Henderson looked similarly all action as well, glad we've tried him down to a three year deal.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 2:45 pm

Some good news:

- Gigena and Mamukashvili have finished quarantining and are in training
- Lewis should be available for Sunday by the sound of things
- Brink is in training and doing contact but not sure when he will be match fit, hopefully before 2020/21 as previously thought though
- Murimurivalu is in the UK quarantining

Perhaps something like below against Gloucester?

1.Bower 2.Kerr 3.Heyes 4.Lavanini 5.Enever 6.Lewis 7.Coghlan 8.Smith
9.White 10.Henry 11.Potter 12.Hardwick 13.Porter 14.Olowofela 15.Worth

16.Clare 17.Genge 18.Leatigaga 19.Henderson 20.Reffell 21.Simmons 22.Ford 23.Steward

Far from ideal but I'd be much happier for Henry, Hardwick and Porter (in his best position) compared to the midfield last weekend.

The back row is an issue with Liebenberg, Reffell and Taufua all playing 80 minutes, Wallace about 60 minutes, due to Wells and Martin having to go off.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 3:34 pm

I wonder if we'll wheel Nadolo out for another appearance. We had players on the bench who played the full 80. As Nadolo hasn't played a great deal he might be raring to go and fancy another run out. 

I agree backrow is an issue. Players can only play 180 minutes and start two games over the three game period. Wallace will have played around 140 minutes already so there's no point selecting him and both Liebenburg and Taufua looked knackered after the game Vs LI. I don't think you'll be far off with your selection though I hope we can add a little bit more size to the side from somewhere. Maybe Steward can start again.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 02 Sep 2020, 9:57 am

Harry Glynn has gone on loan to La Rochelle to get game time in the U23 Espoir League. A good move for all parties. Hopefully he gets time on the pitch to progress and impress.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 02 Sep 2020, 10:21 am

Makes sense and it's a lovely part of the world, particularly if like my wife you love seafood with the muscles coming from just off shore and being fresh every morning. Then there's the dangers of French patiserre. Hopefully he gets to enjoy that as well as racking up plenty of game time. La Rochelle is a rugby mad city so a fun place to be playing rugby on loan.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 02 Sep 2020, 10:34 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Makes sense and it's a lovely part of the world, particularly if like my wife you love seafood with the muscles coming from just off shore and being fresh every morning. Then there's the dangers of French patiserre. Hopefully he gets to enjoy that as well as racking up plenty of game time. La Rochelle is a rugby mad city so a fun place to be playing rugby on loan.

Interesting spelling error Very Happy. Images of your wife admiring fit, young muscled Frenchmen emerging from the sea like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 02 Sep 2020, 10:45 am

LondonTiger wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Makes sense and it's a lovely part of the world, particularly if like my wife you love seafood with the muscles coming from just off shore and being fresh every morning. Then there's the dangers of French patiserre. Hopefully he gets to enjoy that as well as racking up plenty of game time. La Rochelle is a rugby mad city so a fun place to be playing rugby on loan.

Interesting spelling error Very Happy. Images of your wife admiring fit, young muscled Frenchmen emerging from the sea like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.

laughing quite possibly. We were there mid week so it was pretty quiet and the muscled French men were thankfully absent. Mind you that was back before children so I wasn't in bad shape myself at that point.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 6:07 pm

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/leicester-tigers-news-tom-youngs-4494118

Smurf in the Merc giving updates on OTY's knock and new signings arrival/availbility.

Tom Youngs - Took a knock but shouldn't be long term.

Mamukashvili - Back in training, was training to a decent standard in Georgia but needs to get up to speed.

Murimurivalu - His quarantine ended Monday so he's training with the squad from today. Availability depends on what shape he's in.

Kobus van Wyk - In NZ due to visa centres being shut after the outbreak there. His wife is due in 9 weeks so the club are eager to get them over ASAP.

Matias Moroni - Up in the air due to covid and uncertainty of the Rugby Championship.

Whether the Rugby Championship goes ahead or not could have a significant effect on the start to next season with Lavanini and Moroni certainties of selection, plus Gigena a possibility. With Montoya signed and rumours around Tuculet there's a growing link with the Pumas squad.

Nothing mentioned about Hardwick and Olowofela's fitness who are somewhat conspicuous by their absence from the 23 for tomorrow.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:10 pm

I'd imagine he was asked directly about Tom Youngs given we are rotating the same hookers again and Tom is the club captain where as Reffell, Hardwick and Owolfela aren't mentioned but as youngsters might not garner the same level of general interest.

The Tuculet rumours I'm not sure are accurate given I can't find a suggestion he had any sort of European citizenship claim. I know Brexit might make a mess of the foreign player rule (it seems to be making a mess of everything else) but currently the foreign player rule still stands. Gigena, Mamukashvilli and Lavanini all count as foreign players currently though Gigena was allegedly after an Italian passport through his wife. I'm unsure where Montoya stands but it's unlikely both he and Mamukashvili will ever be on the pitch at the same time so doesn't really matter.

I can't see the Rugby Championship happening and I hope Moroni isn't sitting around waiting for that. The Covid problem is hitting Africa a bit later than it hit Europe so I can't see SA being involved and given the closed border nature of NZ and Australia I doubt they'll be inviting other teams over.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 11:15 am

So....do we talk about last night?

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 11:58 am

bluestonevedder wrote:So....do we talk about last night?

I'd prefer not to.

First half had positives as the young lads just worked harder than a Wasps team far more experienced and expensive. Wasps centres cost about the same as the Tigers backline. Wasps finished ahead at half time because they just had more quality. Had the second half gone like the first then I'd have been happy.

Second half was pathetic though. The experienced players that came on brought no discipline, less work rate and no impact. I'm not saying they didn't try but they needed to up the level of performance.

Honestly I'd like Borthwick to read the riot act a bit. Shake things up. Benny you're dropped from the weekend, sin bin was moronic. Wells, like the competitiveness but discipline has to be improved. Henderson stupid penalty cost us a try, go and learn you lesson. Hookers, both dropped, Kerr needs to go and work on his lineout work and Clare just won't cover the ground in defence. Start making players answerable for their performances.

Gigena, Youngs, Cole
Lavanini, Green
Liebenburg, Reffell, Taufua
White, Ford
Scott, Porter
Nadolo, Steward, Williams

Mamukashvili, Bower, Heyes, Martin, Wells, JVP, Henry, Taute.

If Murimurivalu is fit then bring him onto the bench. Hopefully Martin and Reffell are both fit enough to come back in. We definitely need an openside in their somewhere. Saints is looking like a must win game.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 12:36 pm

Saw the first 30, and was pleased. Then had to drive home, and when I got there.......... oh dear.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 1:22 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
bluestonevedder wrote:So....do we talk about last night?

I'd prefer not to.

First half had positives as the young lads just worked harder than a Wasps team far more experienced and expensive. Wasps centres cost about the same as the Tigers backline. Wasps finished ahead at half time because they just had more quality. Had the second half gone like the first then I'd have been happy.

Second half was pathetic though. The experienced players that came on brought no discipline, less work rate and no impact. I'm not saying they didn't try but they needed to up the level of performance.

Honestly I'd like Borthwick to read the riot act a bit. Shake things up. Benny you're dropped from the weekend, sin bin was moronic. Wells, like the competitiveness but discipline has to be improved. Henderson stupid penalty cost us a try, go and learn you lesson. Hookers, both dropped, Kerr needs to go and work on his lineout work and Clare just won't cover the ground in defence. Start making players answerable for their performances.

Gigena, Youngs, Cole
Lavanini, Green
Liebenburg, Reffell, Taufua
White, Ford
Scott, Porter
Nadolo, Steward, Williams

Mamukashvili, Bower, Heyes, Martin, Wells, JVP, Henry, Taute.

If Murimurivalu is fit then bring him onto the bench. Hopefully Martin and Reffell are both fit enough to come back in. We definitely need an openside in their somewhere. Saints is looking like a must win game.

Agree on most of what you've said Sam. I was buoyed by the first half and only being 7 down at the half, but the second half was worse than I could have imagined- especially with some experience to come off the bench. Very few positives to take from it, but what I can are:

- Henry!
- Porter and Potter both didn't stop trying. Could both develop into very good squad players
- Leatigaga is great in the loose and over the ball. Needs to stop giving away so many penalties at the ruck and scrum
- Henderson shows flashes of great potential, but like most of our young forwards, lacked physicality towards the end

Agree that both hookers were poor. Kerr took a real step back and Clare didn't offer enough.

I really questions what these youngsters will take out of such a hammering. I am conflicted as to whether we should continue rotating the squads in very much a 'first team' and 'second team' case as we are at the moment, or give the youngsters a fighting chance by consistently playing a combination squad of experience and young talent. Certainly looking ahead to next season it makes more sense to get an idea of what the first team might look like, but there must be some very low-hanging heads at Welford Road today.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 1:31 pm

I think that's the last mid week game so we shouldn't see any more mismatched teams though the first team hasn't exactly shone. With games against Saints and then Castres we need some results as these are games we have been building towards and both fans and players need something positive to talk about.

Agree on Henderson he looks like he'll be a great player but he is only 19 so might just need to grow into the role in the first team.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 2:43 pm

I'd broadly agree with Sams side for Saints.

White starting alongside Ford would be good to see.

Porter would definitely be my choice over Taute as a 13. Taute is a good player to have in the squad but is a 12 these days. He's lost his pace to the point where if Taute and Scott are the centre pairing I'd prefer Scott to be at outside centre.

George Martin is rumoured to be a case of 'months rather than weeks' in getting back to playing though sadly.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 3:43 pm

They'd not said anything on Martin so I was hoping it was just a knock. Worrying that if it's months it could be a reoccurrence of his hamstring issues. Really hope that's not the case as he looks a massive prospect ready for game time now.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 15 Sep 2020, 9:55 am

Looks like Kobus van Wyk is at Oval Park judging by his Instagram. Given how quickly Murimurivalu featured it's probably reasonable to presume that van Wyk might feature as soon as he's over the jet lag. Presuming he isn't carrying a niggle that is. He really impressed for the Canes in the brief Super Rugby Aotearoa.

The back options are looking up it must be said. Nadolo and Murimurivalu are quality additions, van Wyk should add to that and Steward looks the part. Henry is probably the best reserve 10 we've had since Ford was backup to Flood. Porter, Williams and Potter have all shown talent as well.

It's increasingly difficult to see where some players such as McPhillips, Worth and even Olowofela fit into the squad longer term with the new signings impressing quickly. Olowofela has a lot of talent but needs to kick on at senior level. If Aspland-Robinson starts getting game time ahead of those guys once fit again then I think a few of them might need to move on to progress their careers.

Joe Browning is an impressive young winger coming through too.

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Post by Heaf on Sat 19 Sep 2020, 4:01 pm

So Tigers through to the semis as Castres default ...

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 19 Sep 2020, 4:10 pm

Covid does for Castres. Not how Tigers wanted to go through but we'll take it. Will mean all the lads get the weekend off and maybe some of those that have knocks can have time to heal up for the next game.

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Post by Heaf on Sat 19 Sep 2020, 4:12 pm

Sometimes you need a bit of luck ...

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 19 Sep 2020, 4:20 pm

Heaf wrote:Sometimes you need a bit of luck ...

It's the game the coaches have been building towards though so I'd have rather we played it. There was nothing for us to play for in the Prem other than the derby game with Saints so we've used those games to try and build on things.

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Post by Heaf on Sat 19 Sep 2020, 4:32 pm

Yeah I can see that but now presumably they have more options in terms of players for the semi and will be fresher than whoever they play?

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sat 19 Sep 2020, 4:48 pm

6 scrum pens is massive in a game like this

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Post by Heaf on Sat 19 Sep 2020, 5:02 pm

Wrong thread?

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 5:23 pm

Jags and Argentina capped fly-half Joaquin Diaz Bonilla has signed for the 2020/21 season.

Ford, Henry and Bonilla is the best depth at 10 we've had for a good while. Certainly a step up on an out of position Reid as second choice last season.

Presumably that means Hardwick is viewed as a centre now. Personally I think it's his best position but he's in a similar bracket to Olowofela as having struggled with the step-up to senior rugby thus far.

Hopefully it means that McPhillips wont be required to play any first XV games at fly-half as well. He's just looked way below the required level of game management. Particularly kicking from hand where he's been inaccurate and simply lacking the distance to compete in the Prem.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 5:52 pm

Presumably to cover for Ford during the expanded international period that dumps all over the start to the Prem and then the six nations period. If Henry were to get injured during that period we'd look very light at 10 with Hardwick or McPhillips and no centre who could act as a secondary playmaker. Unless we played the Championship level McPhillips at 10 and Hardwick at 12.

Incidentally I agree with Hardwick being a 12 going forward. He's got a monster pass and kick off the tee for miles but he doesn't have the swagger of a natural flyhalf and his tactical kicking just lacks vision. As a secondary playmaker he could do very well and he could bulk up a little more with his frame.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 6:08 pm

But perhaps not quite bulk up to his dad's or brother's size Very Happy

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 6:28 pm

Hehe that might limit his mobility slightly.

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