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Leicester Tigers 2020-21

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

First topic message reminder :

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 No 7&1/2 Mon 18 Oct 2021, 1:34 pm

Ah not nice. Good to see the club's support.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 18 Oct 2021, 1:55 pm

Borthwick has only ever said Tom wasn't available for selection which was a good touch, Tom and Tiff deserve their privacy. Tiff has pulled through when things looked grim before and I hope for the family she can do so again, really feel for them they have haven't had much luck. Hopefully a show of support can be arranged for the next home game Vs Sale.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 18 Oct 2021, 1:59 pm

Awful news. Fingers crossed for the family.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 18 Oct 2021, 2:44 pm

Horrible news. They're a lovely family, to hear they are going through this all over again is just awful.

Fingers crossed there is good news at the end of the story once again.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 30 Dec 2021, 12:44 pm

Given we are already discussing the cap investigation on another thread I thought I'd revive this one for some different Tigers news.

Moroni has come out saying he wants to stay at Tigers and his agent is discussing a new contract with the club. Moroni staying would be fantastic news. He's one of the best defensive 13s in international rugby and offers plenty in attack. His availability has been excellent as internationals go to.

In formerly of this parish news Charlie Titcombe came off the bench to debut for Wuss yesterday in the PRC. He's with them on loan from Lough Students. When I saw Charlie for the U18s I rated him and am delighted he's got a chance. The Lough setup is really great for giving players that just miss out on Premiership contracts a chance to keep improving and kick on. Tigers are fortunate to have a close connection there but they've got a really good spread of players from across the academies.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 30 Dec 2021, 3:03 pm

Loughborough University have agreements with five different clubs to help with player development of which Tigers are one. I can't help but think we should have developed a closer link with the Uni years ago. 

I hope we are keeping an eye on his development and Lavin's recovery whilst they are playing at Loughborough, we might want both back in the fullness of time.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 30 Dec 2021, 3:23 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Loughborough University have agreements with five different clubs to help with player development of which Tigers are one. I can't help but think we should have developed a closer link with the Uni years ago. 

I hope we are keeping an eye on his development and Lavin's recovery whilst they are playing at Loughborough, we might want both back in the fullness of time.
I think all clubs should have developed these kinds of links with their local universities. Good development for Rugby.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 30 Dec 2021, 3:25 pm

More clubs seem to be recruiting through the University and BUCs now. Quins have done very well from it recently.

Ollie Smith is at Loughborough as well. I was very surprised he didn't get a dev squad contract with Tigers.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 30 Dec 2021, 3:30 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Loughborough University have agreements with five different clubs to help with player development of which Tigers are one. I can't help but think we should have developed a closer link with the Uni years ago. 

I hope we are keeping an eye on his development and Lavin's recovery whilst they are playing at Loughborough, we might want both back in the fullness of time.
I think all clubs should have developed these kinds of links with their local universities.  Good development for Rugby.  

Your Saints have done they are one of the five that Loughborough University are working with. Saints have taken to sponsoring the Loughborough University Women's pro team as well (don't get me started on how Tigers missed that opportunity).

I agree with you both BUCS rugby is a good proving ground for young players, it always used to be the case as it wasn't unusual for a rugby player to go to Uni in the amateur and early pro days. Seems to have gone back to that a bit as teams want to look after their younger players and getting them further education and competitive rugby through a University is a good idea.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 03 Jan 2022, 4:22 pm

Great to see Ilione in the U20s. Presumably means he's approaching fitness and shows how highly rated he is given he's not played yet this season.

A bit surprised that Sam Edwards missed out. Maybe means Tigers have asked to keep him as he's expected to play when Lenny is with England.

Had Lewis Chessum been fit he'd have likely made it too.

Rob Hardwick, former Tigers academy, now with Wasps and Chinnor via some disciplinary is in there too.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 03 Jan 2022, 5:32 pm

I did wonder if Woodward might get a luck in, he seems to be the star of the current academy set up but he is a bit young by comparison to some of those selected.

I hope Ilione is on the mend, be great if he could make his debut before the end of the season.

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Post by Geordie Thu 06 Jan 2022, 10:19 am

Whats the lowdown on Lewis Chessum....

Ollie is looking a very bright prospect...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 06 Jan 2022, 10:59 am

From what I've heard they are cut from the same cloth. Lewis the younger brother might actually end up the bigger of the two. He's been on loan and getting the odd game at Notts which at 18 is good going and similar to what Ollie did. The Nottingham website has Lewis at 18 stone already so he isn't small but looks quite gangly still, I suspect he might pack out as he grows. Hopefully he has the same workrate as Ollie and is just as handy at lineout jumping.

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Post by Geordie Thu 06 Jan 2022, 1:03 pm

Yes i heard Lewis was about 6'9...so actually taller than Ollie.

Be interesting watch them develop...it an area we could really do with some BIG guys with class coming through.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 06 Jan 2022, 9:10 pm

Yeah I'd heard Lewis was the bigger of the two but I tend to take the size of age grade players with a grain of salt. I still think Ollie could keep growing into his frame, he certainly did over the summer. Ollie has turned into a very good lineout jumper, hopefully his brother has the same spring in his jump. At 6ft9 he could be even better which would be nice and it would hurt to have a proper monster come through in the row.

We seem to have a decent seam of forwards coming through. No real number 8 as of yet but props, hooker, locks and flankers we're doing alright.

Even better news for academy is that we might actually see a couple of centres come through been a while. Cusick who's already made his debut and is in the development squad and Woodward the current captain of the academy side looks like he could be a special one. A playmaking 12 who looks to have some physical attributes as well.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 28 Apr 2022, 12:31 am

So then.

OTY confirmed retired. Sad but expected, especially after YBY's interview and glad he's getting to lead the team out this weekend. A true Tigers legend.

Sounding like Watson, Phil Cokanasiga, Cracknell and Gopperth are done deals. Montoya and Moroni rumoured to have signed new contracts which would both be brilliant news. Reffell under contract for next season at least it seems too.

On the downside Nadolo sounding more likely to be away back to Australia. Alongside Genge and Ford he is a massive loss.

Brink and Kobus already out midseason. Taute and Socino seem almost certain to move on though Taute might stay as a coach.

With Jansen impressing I'd be surprised if Robinson gets renewed but he is a good player and won't cost much so could feasibly go either way.

Ashton would be a useful renewal if Nadolo is indeed off. He may well fancy a chance at 100 tries as well and wont be expensive at this stage.

We've also been linked with David Williams from Notts who I thought did well in his previous stint back at Tigers and has a very good Championship strike rate.

1.Whitcombe
2.Montoya, Dolly, Clare, Vanes
3.Cole, Heyes, Hurd, Hoyt
4.Wells, Green, Manz
5.Chessum, Snyman, Henderson
6.Liebenberg, Martin, Cracknell
7.van Staden, Reffell, Ilione
8.Wiese, Jansen, Agbongbon

9.Youngs, JvP, (Wigglesworth?), Edwards, Law
10.Pollard, Burns

11.Potter, Saumaki, Cokanasiga
12.Kelly, Scott, Gopperth
13.Moroni, Porter, Cuisick
14.Watson, Ashton, (Williams?)
15.Steward, Hegarty

I've listed Cokanasiga as a wing there despite him being predominantly a centre. We are looking stacked at centre so I expect we might see all of Porter, Moroni and Cokanasiga covering wing next season.

The big question mark remains LH. Whitcombe is very talented but reinforcements are needed. James Cronin has been rumoured in. I hope Nephi stays and concentrates on LH. Realistically though we already have Genge out with Nephi, van Wyk and Richardson all players I could feasibly see moving on. Interested to see what Borthwick has planned here.

Overall I'm happy with how the squad's shaping up. Genge, Ford and Nadolo are gigantic losses but Pollard and Watson are fantastic replacements in two of those positions. Gopperth adds further depth for 10 and Cokanasiga a new carrier in the back line.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 20 Dec 2023, 10:06 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:I'm not sold in acquiring more locks for Tigers unless we are losing one of Henderson, Chessum, Martin or Wells. We've got four good locks there, three of which will only get better. Carter can do a job and then we've got another two England under 20 grads plus Tom Manz.

Loosehead is a big must for us. Definitely need an upgrade (or two) in that department. Will Goodrick-Clarke who's playing in the Championship after LI going under would be great for us, went to Loughborough Uni and is EQ. If Rhys Carre wants out of Wales I'd like us to take a look at him, I think Nicky Smith has committed to staying otherwise he'd fit in well at Tigers also.

No really sold on Wainwright. He seems ok, has been playing 8 but I dunno I think I was hoping for someone either physically dominant or someone who's more explosive. Derenalagi the Fijian backrow would be fairly ideal; can play across the backrow, big, quick, strong, ridiculous skillset from his sevens days and looked good for Fiji at the world cup. We've got some industrious bruisers in the squad already.
I thought I'd resurrect here rather than risk the silly season thread turning into a Tigers one.

It's not locks specifically I think we need. It's physicality in the pack. That's generally easier to find at a lower price at second row. Back rows who are very physical in contact and mobile enough for the modern game cost a lot. Whereas you can get second rows who are bit less mobile in some aspects but very good in contact. Such as Jason Jenkins. He shouldn't break the bank but if a match required it they would offer the option of having Martin and Jenkins at lock, then Chessum at 6 and Hanro at 8. That's huge physicality without the same cost as trying to replace Wiese like for like.

Derenalagi is a cracking player but I'm not sure he's more powerful than Wainwright. Someone such as Lekima Tagitagivalu I would love. He was terrific at the RWC doing dog work in contact to free up Botia and Mata. Getting a player such as that away from Pau/Top 14 is the issue. Which sums up the problem really. Other leagues have better buying power currently. Hence looking at more roundabout solutions to losing one of the best forwards in the international game when it comes to physicality.

If we can add a starting LH whilst keeping Cronin and Whitcombe then the front row will be in great shape. Cronin would be a fantastic second choice starter, is a good bench option given his loose work. Whilst Whitcombe is talented.

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Post by Geordie Thu 21 Dec 2023, 8:35 am

George Martin signs a new deal....you must be happy with that.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 21 Dec 2023, 11:38 am

Joe Heyes too. Looks like Tigers are announcing some re-signings in batches as they've tended to recently. Great news on both counts.

Martin only re-signed just over a year ago. So hopefully that's a long term contract to take advantage of the cap going up whilst tying one of our best players down for a few years.

Torygraph reported that Lenny had signed a one year extension but it's unconfirmed. Also rumours that Montoya and Pollard have extended. Usually when Tigers announce these batches they save the best for later in the day. If they've opened with Martin that should bode well...!

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Post by king_carlos Thu 21 Dec 2023, 12:16 pm

A look at when signings were announced to try to figure out the likely out of contract players.

20/21
Reffell
Lenny
Wiese
Francois van Wyk

Wiese is confirmed leaving. Reffell rumoured to be either a very long term or rolling extension type contract.

I'd guess van Wyk might leave. I actually think he's been better this season but it's unavoidable that his scrummaging can be suspect.

21/22
Cokanasiga
Cracknell
Cronin
Dolly
Hanro
Scott
Pollard

I'm hoping all are in contract or extend other than Cokanasiga. Not wishing to be harsh on the young lad but he just hasn't really shone and his defence in the 13 channel looks really suspect. I'd hope that Woodward and the other dev squad centres start getting that game time.

Possible to probable one-year contracts
Richardson
Carter
Whiteley
Powell
Wilkinson
Rogerson
Simmons
Atkinson
Brown (short term)
Woollett (short term)

I'm hoping Simmons got a longer deal but it might've been a one-year contract. I'd keep him. Talented, versatile and won't cost a lot.

Atkinson is a talented 10 but is unavoidably struggling for game time with Shillcock here. If out of contract I wouldn't be surprised if he moved on.

I rate Rogerson but it would depend on cost. If he signed a bargain basement one-year deal when LI went boom then he'll be looking for a bigger deal. He's a very reliable player but lacks that top end power to make big impacts. With back row already being strong it's a situation I could see going either way. For the right price he's a decent player to have as back up 6/8.

The others wouldn't leave tough holes to fill. At SH in particular I'm really hoping we either bring through Sam Edwards and/or sign an upgrade on Whiteley and Powell as squad players.

The bulk of the squad I'd expect to be fairly stable from looking through the signing announcement dates. Which is terrific.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 21 Dec 2023, 6:05 pm

I think Cronin's scrummaging has looked very suspect this season. Van Wyk looks solid by comparison.

I'd agree on Rogerson, he's a grafter but he does lack the physical edge that we need and have in Cracknell, Liebenburg and Hatherall. What makes me want an acquisition like Derenalagi is that he's got the potential to add more of that physical edge whilst offering the kind of explosive play we've not seen from a backrow since Mafi left. He's also handy at the breakdown and can play across the backrow. I'd quite like to move away from playing a lock at 6 given we've now got some pretty physical backrows on the books and some more coming through.

Agree partly on 9. I think Whiteley has improved with a bit more regular right but Powell is a bust of a signing. With Edwards and Allan coming through I'd happily phase out Powell and then Whiteley for the youngsters. Youngs staying on would be a boost.

Cokanasiga just hasn't taken any of the sparing chances he's been given which is a shame. I'd try converting him to wing personally. We could do with another winger.

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