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Club statement | Gloucester match cancelled

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Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Warriors regret that tonight’s Gallagher Premiership match against Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm has been cancelled.

COVID-19 cases, illness and injuries mean that, despite every attempt to fulfil the fixture, we are unable to name a team with sufficient front row forwards to comply with the competition regulations.

We currently have 36 players unavailable due to injury, illness or COVID-19, leaving us with only 18 fully fit players, of whom just three are prop forwards.

When the side to face Gloucester was announced on Thursday we named the only four fit props in the club at that stage. The availability of Murray McCallum, who was named as replacement tighthead, was subject to him passing a fitness test on Friday morning. Unfortunately, Murray failed that fitness test.

Gloucester and Premiership Rugby have now been notified that we no longer have sufficient fit and available front row forwards to allow tonight’s match to proceed safely.

We apologise to Gloucester, supporters of both clubs and BT Sport for the inconvenience this will inevitably cause but exceptional circumstances have conspired against us.

An independent Panel will now be convened to decide the points allocation and that decision will be communicated in due course but Premiership Rugby can confirm the match will not be replayed.

• The playing regulations for Gallagher Premiership matches state that:

In the interests of safety each team playing in the Premiership must have at least six fit and able players in the squad who can play at hooker, tighthead prop and loosehead prop who are suitably trained and experienced to ensure that on the first occasion that a replacement in any front row position is required (whether due to injury or consequent to a player(s) being temporarily suspended or ordered off) the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums.
In the event that a club is unable to field those six players, the match shall be cancelled.

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Premiership

Leicester Tigers sign former World Player of Year Nominee

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Leicester Tigers will welcome Joe Taufete’e to the club ahead of the 2022/23 season.

The USA international will move to Leicester from Major League Rugby club, LA Giltinis.

Taufete’e has been capped on 34 occasions by the USA Eagles since his Test debut against South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and is the all-time record-holder for most Test tries by a hooker with 22.

The hooker was born in American Samoa and attended Santa Ana College (California), where he played American football as a defensive tackle. During his school years, he was recognised with All-Conference honours.

He made the move to rugby union in 2011 and represented American clubs Belmont Shore (California) and Scioto Valley (Ohio) as well as a short-stint with New Zealand club Otorohanga in Waikato.

In 2016, Taufete’e joined the San Diego Breakers before moving to England to join the Worcester Warriors during the 2016/17 Premiership season.

He represented the Warriors on more than 50 occasions before joining French club Lyon in 2020, who he spent two seasons with before agreeing a short-term deal with MLR club, LA Giltinis earlier this year.

Speaking about the addition of Taufete’e, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “We are really pleased to be able to add a player of Joe’s experience, in not only the Premiership but also international rugby, to Leicester Tigers.”

“He is a powerful player, in attack and defence, and adds competition to our hooking ranks at the club ahead of the new season.

“Joe is an impressive young man who has shown a hunger to want to be a part of our club and contribute to Leicester Tigers, on and off the field, as well as competing at the highest level of Premiership and European rugby.”

Discussing the move to Tigers, Taufete’e said: “To join a historical club like Leicester Tigers and add my name to into the history of a club like this means to me a great deal.”

“I know how it is and what it means to be a Tiger, to push yourself to extremes.

“I have seen how the program has grown since Steve Borthwick took over and I am excited to be playing under his guidance.”

JOE TAUFETE’E
Position: Hooker
Birthplace: Nu’uuli, American Samoa
Date of birth: 4/10/1992
Teams: San Diego Breakers, Worcester Warriors, Lyon, LA Giltinis, USA Selects, USA

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Premiership

Sharks sign respected Full-back on 1 year deal

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Former Gloucester full-back Jason Woodward joins Sale Sharks ahead of 2022/23 Premiership season 

Sale Sharks have signed versatile full-back Jason Woodward on a one-year deal ahead of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season. 

The former Bristol Bears and Gloucester man, who can also play on the wing and in the centre, put pen to paper today and will join Alex Sanderson’s squad ahead of their opening pre-season clash against Caldy RFC on August 19. 

Jason signed for Bristol from Super Rugby side the Hurricanes in 2016, before joining Gloucester the following year after Bristol’s relegation from the Premiership. He went on to make made 67 appearances and score 90 points for the Cherry and Whites. 

The 32-year-old represented New Zealand at U20 level but qualifies for England through his grandmother and was called into a training camp by Eddie Jones in 2017. 

Sharks Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson said: “After speaking with Jason it was clear he was still motivated to perform at the highest level, and he was keen for a move North to join the Sharks. 

“Jason is a proven Premiership performer who will add a great deal of quality and experience to what is a young squad here.  

“He has the ability to play in a number of positions and that’s a massive bonus for us with such a busy schedule ahead. 

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Premiership

Club announcement: Nemani Nadolo

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Leicester Tigers can confirm that Nemani Nadolo will leave the club midway through the 2022/23 season to join Australian Super Rugby side the NSW Waratahs ahead of their 2023 campaign.

Nadolo’s departure comes after mutual agreement between the player and club for an early release of his contract with Leicester Tigers.

The 34-year-old has made 37 appearances for Leicester Tigers since his debut in August 2020 and scored 16 tries, including 10 tries to sit atop the club’s try-scorers list during the Gallagher Premiership winning 2021/22 season.

Speaking about Nadolo’s time at the club, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “It has been a great privilege to work with Nemani and, on behalf of everybody at the club, I thank him for his contribution to Leicester Tigers.”

“His decision to return home to Australia is one he has made with his family and one that we – as a club – support him in.”

“There are plenty of games still to be played between now and Nemani’s departure and he is fully committed to finishing his time at Leicester Tigers in the same professional and strong manner he has displayed throughout his time at the club.”

Nadolo added: “I’ll forever be grateful to the club for understanding my situation and allowing my family and I to move back to Australia.”

“Even though I’m not done yet, I’m still 100% committed to the cause.”

“There is a lot of rugby to be played from now until I leave and I look forward to hopefully making many more memories in the Tigers jersey.”

NEMANI NADOLO
Leicester Tigers debut: August 26, 2020 v London Irish (Mattioli Woods Welford Road)
Leicester Tigers appearances: 37
Leicester Tigers points: 80 (16 x tries)

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