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Leicester Tigers 2020-21

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Post by king_carlos Mon 16 Nov 2020, 8:55 am

No Geordie, Boris or Taylor. Borthwick definitively the top man and fair few new signings.

Head coach - Borthwick
Defence coach - Ford
Head of physical performance - Walters
Backs/attack coach - Smith (interim)

1.Genge, Gigena, Leatigaga, Bower, Whitcombe
2.Youngs, Clare, Mamukashvili, Kerr
3.Cole, Heyes, de Bruin, Dimen
4.Lavanini, Enever, Martin
5.Green, Wells, Henderson, Chessum
6.Brink, Lewis, Lavin
7.Taufua, Reffell, Wallace, Coghlan
8.Liebenberg, Wiese, Smith

9.Youngs, Wigglesworth, White, van Poortvliet
10.Ford, Bonilla, Henry, McPhillips

11.Nadolo, Williams, Simmons, Aspland-Robinson
12.Scott, Taute, Hardwick
13.Moroni, Porter, Kelly
14.van Wyk, Potter, Olowofela, Browning
15.Steward, Murimurivalu, Worth

There's a fair few things I like about that squad. The pack in particular looks promising with some good signings and a few development squad players looking ready for first XV rugby. Liebenberg, Brink, Wiese and de Bruin is a lot of Bok muscle, the sort of thing that many of us have felt was missing.

In the centre there's a few players I'm less convinced by but Steward coming through in the back three could be great for this side. Not wanting to heap pressure on the lad but if we are going to persist with a kick heavy game plan then a fullback with his boot and presence under the high ball could be vital.

I'm increasingly struggling to see where a few of the backs fit into the squad. Hardwick, McPhillips, Worth and Olowofela in particular. Kelly seemed to be getting deserved game time in the centre. Williams and Potter have signed as similar aged back three squad/project players. Aspland-Robinson regaining fitness and Simmons shifting position adds to that bracket. The Steward has broken through and Browning is coming up the rails. Plenty of good news for the squad as a whole there but perhaps not for those guys who might struggle to make an impact.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 03 Dec 2020, 5:18 pm

https://www.leicestertigers.com/news/leiceseter-tigers-club-announcement031220

McGinity gone. Oh dear.

The report also says "recruitment finalised for 2020/21", so short of injury dispensation for future injuries seems we aren't reinforcing any further.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 03 Dec 2020, 7:42 pm

Is that a reflection on his performance or just that theres no point in paying someone to do a job you dont need and part of the overall budget cuts? Cant imagine they'll be splashing out to lure big contract signings next season either.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 03 Dec 2020, 8:00 pm

Head of recruitment doesn't spend 6 months with his feet up though. Now's the time he should be negotiating with those who we want to see as well as talking to the agents of those out of contract next summer so that come the start of the year we have a list of our preferences and targets. 

I have no idea what's going on. You don't save money by sacking the guy with all the connections and who is bringing in the talent. We'll waste more money on poor signings because we are then left without his knowledge and connections. What's worse is someone else, a competitor could now pick him up and we lose twice over because they'll know all our targets and what we can offer.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 03 Dec 2020, 8:31 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Is that a reflection on his performance or just that theres no point in paying someone to do a job you dont need and part of the overall budget cuts? Cant imagine they'll be splashing out to lure big contract signings next season either.
I'd guess it's budget cut but seems a short sighted (to say the least) place to make that cut. A huge problem for Tigers from Cockers reign, through MOC, Mauger and the start of Smurf in charge was a lack of direction in recruitment. Cohen negotiated contracts but rumours are he had much more say in who was recruited and where cap was directed. Leading to a lot of overpaid, average players.

McGinity joining felt like the start of seeing round pegs in round holes. Followed by Borthwick, Walters and to a lesser extent Taylor. Stanko of course being part of the set-up already but a very good scrum coach.

I just hope that Borthwick doesn't end up with too big a workload and burns out. He has a reputation for working tirelessly. Doing that for England in short bursts around tournaments/tours then having less workload either side is different to a club job though. Even for the 6 Nations or RWC you're looking at 2-3 months of non-stop work. Then you are into the less intense periods of watching matches on the weekends, analysis (with a team to help do that), communicating with players and Jones. They are different challenges with tournaments naturally being very intense then lulls in-between.

It now seems he will be head coach, forwards coach, scrum coach and in charge of recruitment...  Erm

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 03 Dec 2020, 9:26 pm

We have an assistant forwards coach I'm Brett Deacon and the academy scrum coach is working with the first team (he's also the scrum coach for Loughborough University). Borthwick has some sort of training support.

There's no way Borthwick can scour the world for talent, compile the reports on the players so we can streamline the targets and then be talking and negotiating with agents. In the modern game you need someone to do that role. McGinty was doing a damn fine job. Saving money for saving's sake it seems. Looks like stupidity at this point in time.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 04 Dec 2020, 4:00 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:We have an assistant forwards coach I'm Brett Deacon and the academy scrum coach is working with the first team (he's also the scrum coach for Loughborough University). Borthwick has some sort of training support.

There's no way Borthwick can scour the world for talent, compile the reports on the players so we can streamline the targets and then be talking and negotiating with agents. In the modern game you need someone to do that role. McGinty was doing a damn fine job. Saving money for saving's sake it seems. Looks like stupidity at this point in time.
The coaching team is still undeniably weaker without Boris and Taylor though. Brett is a well considered young coach but I'm honestly surprised he's still at Tigers given how much his responsibilities have chopped and changed.

Sounding like Richard Wilks will replace McGinity. Brother of Dave Wilks the academy manager and agent to :drum roll: Borthwick, Ford, Lenny and Tom Youngs, Cole.

I try to be positive but how in the name of holy f*** is the agent to 5 of the highest paid people in the club supposed to objectively deal with contracts?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 04 Dec 2020, 8:22 pm

king_carlos wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:We have an assistant forwards coach I'm Brett Deacon and the academy scrum coach is working with the first team (he's also the scrum coach for Loughborough University). Borthwick has some sort of training support.

There's no way Borthwick can scour the world for talent, compile the reports on the players so we can streamline the targets and then be talking and negotiating with agents. In the modern game you need someone to do that role. McGinty was doing a damn fine job. Saving money for saving's sake it seems. Looks like stupidity at this point in time.
The coaching team is still undeniably weaker without Boris and Taylor though. Brett is a well considered young coach but I'm honestly surprised he's still at Tigers given how much his responsibilities have chopped and changed.

Sounding like Richard Wilks will replace McGinity. Brother of Dave Wilks the academy manager and agent to :drum roll: Borthwick, Ford, Lenny and Tom Youngs, Cole.

I try to be positive but how in the name of holy f*** is the agent to 5 of the highest paid people in the club supposed to objectively deal with contracts?

FFS. He's hardly going to be objectionable. Hardly bringing a new pool of players to us either.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 04 Dec 2020, 9:21 pm

Green Room Sports represents a lot of players so Wilks will at least have a lot of connections and has plenty of experience negotiating contracts. They are two strengths that McGinity also brought though.

Having someone with that connection to 4 senior players, head coach and academy manager doesn't feel like a particularly resilient structure. Particularly at a club that has had some obvious back room issues.

I can only guess that Borthwick and McGinity weren't seeing eye to eye on recruitment, hence someone that Borthwick is more comfortable working with joining. If so it's very much an all the eggs in one basket type call.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 08 Dec 2020, 4:06 pm

Wigglesworth to get a 4 week ban, effective immediately for the Baabaas indiscretions. Not particularly important for the next 2 weeks of Challenge Cup action in my opinion but frustrating to lose him for the Falcons and Bath games that we should be targeting as winnable games with the internationals back. Completely his own fault of course.

I'm hoping that we over the next couple of games we see the internationals come back into the side playing well and hopefully a bit of game time for Smith or Lewis in the back row given that Reffell will presumably be unavailable after his HIA.

Also hope that Porter isn't the one to miss out with Nadolo and Murimurivalu returning, I think he's been really promising since joining the club.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 10 Dec 2020, 12:33 pm

Team for Brive;

15 Freddie Steward

14 Kini Murimurivalu

13 Matias Moroni

12 Matt Scott

11 Nemani Nadolo

10 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla

9 Ben White

1 Nephi Leatigaga

2 Tom Youngs (c)

3 Joe Heyes

4 Harry Wells

5 Tomas Lavanini

6 Hanro Liebenberg

7 Jordan Taufua

8 Jasper Wiese

Replacements

16 Charlie Clare

17 Ellis Genge

18 Luan De Bruin

19 Calum Green

20 Cyle Brink

21 Ben Youngs

22 George Ford

23 Guy Porter

Great to see Lavanini and Moroni in. It's a very strong team and good to see young guys Heyes, White and Steward get game time in a strong team full of experience.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 10 Dec 2020, 2:59 pm

I really like that selection.

Bonilla could do with a decent performance after a rocky start. The centre partnership is well balance on paper and that back three is enormous.

Hopefully a good performance.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 14 Dec 2020, 10:45 am

What did people thgink of the performace. I feel it is hard to gauge as for much of it Brive looked completely disinterested. Taufua and Nadolo were excellent in giving us front foot ball I thought.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 19 Dec 2020, 8:19 pm

A nice try from Reffell linking up with Henry has put us ahead but the defensive alignment outwide has been all over the shop so far with Bayonne not taking advantage.

I must say it's nice seeing us able to rotate key players whilst still maintaining some sort of balance, particularly in the pack.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 19 Dec 2020, 8:23 pm

Oofft Lavanini and Clare make a huge hit on the Bayonne 8 but Clare gets a head knock in the process so Kerr will get a chance to show some form.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 19 Dec 2020, 10:03 pm

Bayonne 20 - 28 Tigers

With a rotated side away from home I'll take that every day. Tigers gave away a lot of penalties and had 3 yellow cards, whilst Bayonne failed to capitalise on chances.

The back row of Reffell, Taufua and Chessum played very well indeed. Chessum really threw himself around in fringe defence.

Henry had many good moments in attack and played well after an early missed touched from a penalty. His cross field kick followed by Murimurivalu's skilled  gather for the 3rd try was a lovely play.

Porter and Kelly were also good I thought.

Negatives would probably be Ben White having one of his poorer performances with JvP being the better 9 when he came on IMO. Then the penalty count and Bayonne making metres too easily when they moved the ball or went through phases. Better sides would have converted their chances much better.

Overall though it's nice to get the win, see some young players shine and James Whitcombe make a brief senior debut.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 19 Dec 2020, 11:28 pm

Really good to see Whitcombe male his debut, looks a big lad and seems to have a bright future.

Ref was pretty awful, maybe we're a bit spoilt after what I thought was an excellent display by the Georgian official last week. Brink's yellow card was particularly tough to take as he seemed to do nothing wrong and was blatantly neck rolled only to get back up and receive the yellow card. The repeated cheap shots after the whistle by Bayonne got repeated warnings bit nothing else. 

Some young lads putting their hands up in a big way. Kelly looks to the manor born, Chessum just loves the grunt work that makes him look another Harry Wells in the making, JVP is a classy young 9 and Henry when he's given the chance is a handful ball in hand. I liked Brink at 8 as well he was really good off the base of the scrum. 

Long time since we won away in France. The boys should be proud of themselves as they all committed 100%.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 20 Dec 2020, 2:33 am

I didn't have much problem with the yellows. We got a much due team warning, then next run of play Heyes gives away a penalty and gets binned. You could argue that we'd pushed them back to the 22m line but Heyes slowed quick ball. Then next phase from that penalty Leatigaga gave another one away defending a well set maul 5m from the line. I was a bit surprised that Heyes was binned 20 metres out but both came directly after warning and we'd given a lot of penalties away under pressure.

The Brink one I was least surprised by. Bayonne broke clear then got chased down by the scramble defence but had they got quick ball they'd probably have scored. Brink went for the ball fairly at first but got cleared off it (good contest so far), then he went back for the ball whilst going off his feet to slow it down. As soon as he kept going for the ball after the ruck formed I thought it was pretty cynical play. Though not necessarily bad play as it arguably prevented a try. I didn't notice the neck role so would need to watch that back.

Against sides converting chances they'd have put points on the board in the first half long before the penalty counted mounted high enough for a team warning.

I thought the last gasp defence from Reffell and Taufua in particular was really impressive at times. Forcing turnovers or mistakes at vital times.

Lots of positives, especially the first 10 minutes of the second half where we played really smartly and executed well whilst down to 13 men. Bayonne were pretty dire though and I fear that if we given that many penalties away and allow easy metres out wide against Falcons they will be much more clinical.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 20 Dec 2020, 7:08 am

Yes whilst I was displeased with the ref the first two yellow cards were somewhat coming. I thought Heyes was a bit unlucky that far out but as you say it was less about him and more about the mass of penalties we'd accumulated before that point. The yellow from the collapsed maul was a pretty straight forward one.

I'd hope the first choice players will defend a little better and dominate the gain line more successfully. As much as I liked the hard work of Chessum he's not the physically dominant Liebenburg and Weise adds a lot to the side at 8. Having Ford at 10 is a big plus as well as Henry attacked ball in hand his game management is still a work in progress. It seemed we got points often in the Bayonne half but spent too little time there. The best bit of game management actually came from the period when we were down to 13 and we only lost that period 7-6.

Agree that Reffell and Taufua defended brilliantly, Taufua played it a bit close to the line at times but that's not unusual. The amount of turnovers on our own try line was exceptional really.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 21 Dec 2020, 6:34 am

I didn't think Busby had his best game but not as bad as many Tigers fans on the offy seemed to feel. Many regulars on the offy seem to think refs are incompetent every week since Tigers have been playing poor rugby though. Amazing that correlation!

The lineout frustrated me as I felt both sides were blocking the jumper whilst setting the maul but it was only called once - the penalty going against Bayonne.

As is often the case the ruck was inconsistent with a few of jackal penalties going to the defending side where I thought that the jackal hadn't entered through the gate. That's a common one frequently overlooked where if a jackal enters from the side but ends up 'painting a good picture' by getting hands on the ball, staying on his feet and trying to strip it he will win the penalty. Whereas had a player just entered for a clearout from the same angle they'd get pinged. There was one penalty that Taufua won that seemed a blatant case of that.

The most obvious poor decision I actually thought went Tigers way with Dan Kelly's try that seemed an obvious double movement on the brief replays. He was stopped short and held but having come to a dead halt he then drove himself over the line. Similar to a disallowed try that Mako Vunipola had for England against Ireland last year. It was a good line from Kelly though who had another good game.

Selection in the midfield will be interesting against Falcons. Scott and Moroni are good players but Taute is showing some form now plus Porter has been playing very well. Personally I'd go with Scott and Moroni to give us some pace to attack Flood and Burrell. Part of that is just the desire to see Tigers field the faster midfield for once though.

If Nadolo and Murimurivalu lineup against Radwan and Stevenson the wings will be a real contrast of styles. Power and no little skill for Tigers against searing pace and plenty of skill for Falcons.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 21 Dec 2020, 9:33 am

Only seen highlights (11 minutes from French TV) and there seemed to be some very good stuff.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 21 Dec 2020, 9:59 am

Ha, yes Carlos the refs are often berated on the offy. Sometimes fairly sometimes not. I think the ref from Saturday got a lot of stick because he wasn't that great whereas the Georgian ref from the Brive game was excellent, communicating well with the players and consistent in his decision making.

I thought it was a good performance. Some bright attacking play and young Kelly does look good. I'd definitely go Scott and Moroni for the weekend though I'd have Porter ok the bench as he covers a lot of the backline. Falcons wingers are flyers and I don't think we can go toe to toe in terms of pace with them but let's see how they like the power and offloading game of a Murimurivalu, Nadolo, Steward back three.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 21 Dec 2020, 6:22 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Only seen highlights (11 minutes from French TV) and there seemed to be some very good stuff.
There was a lot of good LT. The lineout was back to functioning well (won 9 from 11) as was the maul. Plenty of youngsters had good games. Murimurivalu was good in attack from 15 when joining the line. Henry marshaled the game well.

Stats wise though we had 25% territory, 33% possession and gave away 14 penalties with the majority I remember coming in our own half and under pressure. Also missed 26 tackles according to the offy stats. Without wishing to be negative if we do that against more clinical sides then the final score would likely be very difficult.

The biggest positive is being able to rotate many of the first XV whilst still fielding a side with players like Lavanini, Taufua, Taute and Murimurivalu to guide the younger guys. I've wanted to see that again for a long time and it was a big plus. We do seem to be developing depth again whereby we have players genuinely challenging the incumbents in the first XV.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 21 Dec 2020, 6:24 pm

Rumours we are trying to sign prop Boan Venter from the Cheetahs. Presumably he'd be the long term replacement for the spot Luan de Bruin is filling short term as he is a unit that can play either side of the scrum. Only 23 as well so plenty of scope to keep developing.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 21 Dec 2020, 7:04 pm

I thought he was only a loosehead, if he can play both sides that's very useful. Sounds like a good signing on paper. Weise and Liebenburg have both been good signings from SA and in his limited game time so far de Bruin looks to be as well. If Venter is the next one and does just as well I'll be very pleased. 

Bower can't be relied upon and Cole cannot be expected to play every game. Thankfully Heyes is still coming along nicely and Whitcombe looks like he'll be a good loosehead. There's another prop with a famous name in the development squad as well.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 22 Dec 2020, 7:05 pm

I see our game is off...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 22 Dec 2020, 7:47 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I see our game is off...

Disappointing but yes. Was rather looking forward to it, it would have been a good watch. 

As long as Tigers are deemed to have done nothing wrong I believe this will be a 4-2 points split. 4 for Newcastle and 2 for Tigers. As Tigers couldn't name a team due to Covid.

On the upside I think this fulfills all the mandated rest weeks for the England players so they can all hopefully play against Bath and Saints.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 22 Dec 2020, 10:30 pm

Yeah thats what has bene mentioned..4/2

I think we were all looking forward to this game.

Sadly i think we should get used to more of these games being cancelled.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 23 Dec 2020, 12:55 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Sadly i think we should get used to more of these games being cancelled.

I think you're right but I really don't want you to be.

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Post by Heaf Wed 23 Dec 2020, 4:51 pm

Bath v LI off too ...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 23 Dec 2020, 6:36 pm

Not what you want to hear but it's definitely hitting the sport at the minute.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 24 Dec 2020, 5:40 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:I thought he was only a loosehead, if he can play both sides that's very useful. Sounds like a good signing on paper. Weise and Liebenburg have both been good signings from SA and in his limited game time so far de Bruin looks to be as well. If Venter is the next one and does just as well I'll be very pleased. 

Bower can't be relied upon and Cole cannot be expected to play every game. Thankfully Heyes is still coming along nicely and Whitcombe looks like he'll be a good loosehead. There's another prop with a famous name in the development squad as well.

I think that highlight video shows him scrummaging on both sides. Either way the versatility of Leatigaga makes it less vital as he allows us to bolster either side when replacing a 3rd/4th choice player.

I'd be surprised if Bower's contract gets extended beyond this season. There are definitely worse 4th choice looseheads in the Premiership and he won't cost much but his scrummaging has always been weak and Whitcombe is a big talent.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 24 Dec 2020, 8:46 pm

Yeah I've seen the highlights video now. He wears 1 and 17 in virtually every video though in one or two clips he wears 3 which suggests whilst he's predominantly a loosehead he must be competent enough at tighthead in order to start a game there. He looks like he could be a great signing though that tends to be the case with these highlights videos. I like just how many clips there are of him driving straight and destroying the opposition tighthead.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 31 Dec 2020, 9:52 am

Nice to see Hampson get an OBE.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 08 Jan 2021, 8:51 am

What happened to that wonder kid Tigers had, that scored all those tries that went viral on the internet? Did he come through, it is a few years ago now.
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Post by Gooseberry Fri 08 Jan 2021, 9:11 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:What happened to that wonder kid Tigers had, that scored all those tries that went viral on the internet? Did he come through, it is a few years ago now.


Might be a case of asking "which one":

Posted this link a while back

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

He took a scholarship to play (not soccer) Football in the US, spent 6 months being an embarrassment at Bristol, then went back to the US.

Or if

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Post by king_carlos Wed 13 Jan 2021, 5:05 pm

https://www.periodismo-rugby.com.ar/2021/01/13/montoya/

According to that Montoya is already in the UK, completed his quarantine and is training with Tigers. If so the two week break, whilst at a poor time for the club after other cancelled games, could work well with Montoya arriving and being in the frame for the Sale game.

Having Montoya available over the Six Nations whilst definitely missing Youngs and Ford, plus potentially Genge is a big positive.

Our pack is looking in good shape for the rest of the season with most players fit and only Genge missing games for internationals.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 13 Jan 2021, 10:16 pm

Genge, Montoya, Cole
Lavanini, Wells
Liebenburg, Weise, Taufua

Is a ridiculously good pack compared to the that of previous seasons.

Bench would look pretty tasty as well.

Youngs, Leatigaga, de Bruin/Heyes, Brink, Reffell

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Post by king_carlos Wed 13 Jan 2021, 10:53 pm

Splitting hairs a bit I know but I'd probably start Reffell over Taufua. Arguably he isn't the better all round player yet but Reffell is so important to the defence, which can still look pretty ropey once a side go through a few phases.

Martin must be close to forcing his way onto the bench ahead of one of the back rows as well. His performances have all been impressive and it offers a bit more balance. By the end of the season he could overtake Green I think.

Either way the pack is looking incomparable to recent years.

My one slight worry is the tight five early in a season when the Rugby Championship and Autumn Internationals are going ahead as usual. We will almost certainly lose Montoya and Lavanini for both with Genge and Leatigaga likely away for the AIs. Gigena is a possibility for both too. It's a lot of quality up front to effectively lose until December.

A long term signing at prop at a similar quality to Luan de Bruin is important. Bower will cost very little and is alright around the park but his scrummaging has never been solid at Premiership level. Hopefully we can sign a stronger loosehead in that spot.

It's definitely looking up though. The difference that a few academy graduates in Steward, Reffell, Martin and JvP challenging for first XV spots at a young age makes is enormous.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 14 Jan 2021, 10:47 am

I'd switch the two depending on the opposition. For Sale for instance is go Taufua for the power option for the first 50 and then Reffell for the final 30 as things open up and to take the breakdown battle to Curry. If we'd played Saints I'd have started Reffell to disrupt the stuttering Saints attack and then Taufua off the bench to add impact against a pack that tires and lacks power in the backrow unless they put a lock there with doesn't help with mobility as the game opens up.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 14 Jan 2021, 10:52 am

Oh and I agree the quality additions out of the academy have been very good. Steward in particular is an international not so much in the making but pretty much ready to go. I'd not be surprised to see him learning in Eddie's 6N squad.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 14 Jan 2021, 6:10 pm

Boris has joined Russia as scrum coach for their RWC qualifiers. Good to hear he's got another gig.

Given how the UK was handling covid compared to NZ when he left Tigers I presumed he might have headed back to Auckland.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 14 Jan 2021, 9:02 pm

I thought he might have landed a forward coaching role as opposed to another scrum job. Russia are putting some money towards their rugby team so hopefully he's onto a winner.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 26 Jan 2021, 5:40 pm

Taufua to Lyon with immediate effect. A shame that we never saw the best of such a good player. After the impact he made in his early fixtures I thought he could have an impact like Craig Newby but just not meant to be and it's seemed the writing was on the wall since the covid pay cuts, Beziers offer and subsequent fall through. Given he hung around in NZ for longer than most top Kiwi's who are just missing out of ABs caps I can't begrudge him taking what is likely a much better offer.

Rumours we are looking at Marco van Staden as a replacement which would be an excellent signing.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 26 Jan 2021, 7:49 pm

A bit of compensation out of Lyon and his wages off the books are unfortunately what the club needs currently. We are losing a fortune every month there's no crowd at Welford Road. 

Taufua has been a real impact player since he joined. He took the pay cut and stayed on for the final year of his contract but as you say Carlos he's spent so long in NZ wanting the AB shirt now he wants to maximise his earnings. I don't begrudge him that he always gave everything for the Tigers shirt when he wore it. Lyon I'm sure will give him a nice pay bump and being in the South of France won't be a bad thing.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 31 Jan 2021, 5:01 pm

TRP reporting Marco van Staden as a done deal. That would be an excellent signing IMO. He reminds me a lot of Hamish Watson in his style of play.

I believe MvS is already out of contract with the Currie Cup finished so could arrive this season as well.

Liebenberg - 25
Wiese - 25
Brink - 27
van Staden - 25

Whilst it's a lot of Boks just in the back row I do like that we are signing younger players who could be with the club long term.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 31 Jan 2021, 5:01 pm

TRP reporting Marco van Staden as a done deal. That would be an excellent signing IMO. He reminds me a lot of Hamish Watson in his style of play.

I believe MvS is already out of contract with the Currie Cup finished so could arrive this season as well.

Liebenberg - 25
Wiese - 25
Brink - 27
van Staden - 25

Whilst it's a lot of Boks just in the back row I do like that we are signing younger players who could be with the club long term.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 31 Jan 2021, 6:04 pm

Potentially an excellent signing. There is something of the Hamish Watson about him. I believe he's highly rated over in SA so could be a coup for us. With Taufua going it will be jsefi to have another body in there.

6. Liebenburg, Martin,
7. Van Staden, Reffell, Wallace
8. Weise, Brink, Smith

Some good options there. Martin may be needed more in the row than at 6 with Lavanini off. Martin and Henderson look like they'll be very good locks in the not too distant future. I like the look of Chessum as well, he's got quite an engine on him but at 20/21 they might be asked to play a lot of rugby. Lock is a bit of a worry, particularly with Enever not offering much so far.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 31 Jan 2021, 6:18 pm

Lock is still the biggest concern. Wells and Green are solid players, with Wells still improving but ideally should be 3rd and 4th choice. Those two were completely outplayed by Sale's second string locks with Lood and J-L du Preez unavailable.

I think Martin is good enough to leapfrog them as one of the first choices but that still leaves an important signing. I'd hope for a lineout operator such as Ruan Botha rather than a bruiser like Lavanini. Our back row and front row are very physical now so a set-piece orientated second row should work with Borthwick's game plan.

Wells and Green are good squad options but we need stronger first choices to employ the game plan that Borthwick seems to be set on.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 31 Jan 2021, 9:54 pm

Wells and Green are solid lineout operators. Henderson and Martin are both good lineout jumpers. Liebenburg can also slot in and the athletic thing. I'd go the other way and want a unit. Ideally a 19/20 stone monster for the games like Sale when we need extra pushing at the scrum and lineout. Some more carrying.

The lineout we have works. Needs to tighten up the rolling maul formation but it's miles ahead of where we were last season.

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