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Premiership

Bears sign Pumas U20 star 🇦🇷

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Highly rated Argentina U20 international back row Benjamín Grondona has joined Bristol Bears with immediate effect, the club can confirm.

The 19-year-old brother of current Bears and Argentina back row Santiago, who is comfortable at number eight and blindside flanker, stands at 6ft 3 and 102kg and featured for the Pumas at the Junior World Championship in South Africa last summer.

Grondona, a dynamic ball carrier and impressive lineout operator, also featured for Argentina ‘A’ in 2023 in fixtures against Uruguay and Chile.

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam, said: “Benjamín is one of the most exciting young players in the game and came to our attention at the Junior World Championships last summer.

“For a player of his age to have already featured for his country’s ‘A’ team demonstrates the high regard in which he is held by Argentina, and we’re pleased to be able to bring a young man with huge potential to the club.

“He arrived in the country last week and is excited to get stuck in straight away.”

Content & Images from – Bristol Bears Rugby


Premiership

WIESE SET TO RETURN TO SA

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Sale Sharks can confirm that forward Cobus Wiese will leave the club at the end of the season to return to South Africa. 

The 26-year-old lock has played almost 80 games for the club and scored five tries since joining from the DHL Stormers ahead of the 2020/21 season. 

He played a key role last year as Sale reached the Premiership final, and this season he has featured a further 13 times for Alex Sanderson’s side. 

Alex said: “Cobus will be missed by all of us on so many levels. He’s the most polite and courteous of people off the field, but the most wildly excitable man on the field, and on a night out. 

“To say Cobus wears his heart on his sleeve is to do him a disservice with regards to his emotional commitment for which his body has paid the price on occasion.  

“He leads by example and has earnt the respect and adoration of the group both on a professional and a personal level. We wish him every success and happiness with his move back home.” 

Everyone at Sale Sharks would like to thank Cobus for his contribution to the club and the team during his time here and we wish him all the very best for the future.  

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby


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Premiership

Team News | Liebenberg to bring up 100 caps against Ealing

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Leicester Tigers have named their side for Sunday’s Premiership Cup Semi-final against Ealing Trailfinders live on TNT Sports at 3pm.

Tickets for the clash at Trailfinders Sports Ground are available online only and will not be sold at the game.

Leicester will be led by backrow Hanro Liebenberg who plays his 100th game for the club, with hooker Finn Theobold-Thomas earning his first start in a Tigers jersey.

The starting selections sees Phil Cokanasiga in the centres with Matt Scott on the wing and Mike Brown at fullback.

England Men’s A representatives Ollie Hassell-Collins and Jamie Shillcock also feature, with Charlie Clare making his return from injury the replacements.

Leicester Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar said: “The group, players and staff were on the go for 23 weeks straight so getting away from the game for a period was really beneficial and we’ve come back in enthused for this challenge this week.

“Ealing are a team full of experience and quality, so we’ll have to be at our best to get the result we want, on a big day for the likes of Hanro and Finn.

“It’s fitting that Hanro leads us on his 100th game. He carried a lot of the leadership burden during the World Cup and continues to be someone the boys can count on to lead with his actions.”

STARTING XV

15 Mike Brown [21]

14 Matt Scott [74]

13 Dan Kelly [74]

12 Phil Cokanasiga [2]

11 Ollie Hassell-Collins [14]

10 Jamie Shillcock [19]

9 Tom Whiteley [23]

1 Francois van Wyk [46]

2 Finn Theobold-Thomas [7]

3 Dan Richardson [15]

4 Harry Wells [190]

5 Kyle Hatherell [14]

6 Hanro Liebenberg (C) [99]

7 Matt Rogerson [15]

8 Olly Cracknell [34]

REPLACEMENTS

16 Charlie Clare [88]

17 James Whitcombe [46]

18 Tim Hoyt [1]

19 Sam Carter [13]

20 Emeka Ilione [18]

21 Sam Edwards [11]

22 Kieran Wilkinson [3]

23 Joseph Woodward [8]

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby


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Premiership

Scott MacLeod returns to Newcastle Falcons

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Scott MacLeod returns to Newcastle Falcons

Monday 12 February 2024 Written by: Mark Smith

Scott MacLeod is returning to Newcastle Falcons as line-out coach, with the former Scotland lock on board until at least the end of the season.

The Hawick native spent 11 years with the Falcons, making 61 appearances as a player before joining the coaching team in 2016.

Having departed Kingston Park last summer MacLeod will now return to impart his expertise, combining coaching commitments with working for his family’s business in the Scottish Borders.

Newcastle Falcons’ consultant director of rugby Steve Diamond said: “Scott is a well-respected line-out specialist who can help us make some big gains in that area between now and the end of the season.

“He knows and loves the club, he’s very well regarded here and I’m looking forward to getting him back involved.

“We’ve initially said it’s until the end of the season and I know Scott has other business commitments, but if it works well for both parties over the next few months then we’ll be happy to look at extending it beyond that.”

Capped 24 times by Scotland in a playing career which also saw him starring for Border Reivers, Edinburgh, Scarlets, Kobelco Steelers and Newcastle, the set-piece specialist is relishing the prospect of reinvigorating the Falcons’ line-out during the remainder of the season.

MacLeod said: “Our line-out has consistently been in the top four of the Premiership over the past few years, so hopefully I can come in and help get us back up there.

“I’ve been watching the games from afar this season because Newcastle Falcons is still a big part of my life, even though I’ve not been personally involved since the summer. I just want to come in and make a positive difference, get us back to where we should be and help the boys.”

Having spent more than a decade at Kingston Park as a player and coach, MacLeod insisted the opportunity to return was just too good to pass up.

“I’ve missed the place a lot,” said the 44-year-old.

“I’m now working for my family’s business, MacLeod Glass, up in Hawick, but I’m sure any sportsperson will tell you they miss being in and around that team environment. It’s certainly very different going from a Premiership rugby club to working in a factory every day, and it’s been a shock to the system.

“I’ll now get to combine both, and I’ve missed being involved with the professional game. I’ve been coaching my son’s S2 side to get my rugby fix, but I’m buzzing to be back with the Falcons. It’s a really special club for me.”

Setting out with one clear aim, the Scot said: “I just want us to get our identity back.

“I’ll come in, assess our strengths and our weaknesses and come up with a plan accordingly. I know some of the players really well and I don’t know others at all, but luckily with us having this big break before our next game it’s absolutely ideal timing for getting things in place.

“One thing you have to bear in mind with Newcastle is how bad the weather is, in terms of how much you can push it in the line-out, but I just want to get the confidence back into the boys.

“It’s about simple things being done well on a consistent basis, and I’m starting this week to help put it in motion.

“I’ve got a few weeks to get to know the guys I’ve not worked with before, see how it all ties in with the lads I already know and then knit it all together into a game plan which works best for the team.

“As I say, I just want us to have that Newcastle Falcons identity again when it comes to the line-out, and I’m really positive about things. We’ll see how it works between now and the end of the season, and if everyone’s happy then we can see where it goes.”

Newcastle Falcons’ next home game is against Leicester Tigers on Good Friday (March 29), with tickets on sale for the 7.45pm kick-off by clicking here.

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


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