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Dombrandt leads Quins in first game of 22/23 campaign



Alex Dombrandt steps off the team coach
Alex Dombrandt steps off the team coach

England number eight Alex Dombrandt captains Harlequins this weekend as the South West London club kick-off the opening round of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership away to Newcastle Falcons.
Supporters not travelling to this away fixture can view the game live on

Dombrandt, recently returned from a knee injury, fills in as skipper for injured Club Captain Stephan Lewies this week as Quins travel to Kingston Park this Saturday – live on PRTV, 15:00 kick-off.

Dombrandt is joined by fellow England international Joe Marler, with the British and Irish Lions prop earning a first start of the year, having made an impact from the bench in last Friday’s pre-season friendly against Leinster. Marler is joined by Springbok Wilco Louw at tighthead prop, with hooker George Head completing the front row.

Summer signing Irne Herbst will earn his first official Harlequins appearance at Kingston Park this Saturday, starting in a competitive match for Quins alongside new locking partner and recent Academy graduate George Hammond in the second row.

Jack Kenningham and Tom Lawday pack down on the flank either side of Dombrandt, while a halfback partnership of Lewis Gjaltema and Italian international Tommy Allan will look to direct Quins for the day at nine and ten.

The midfield sees Lennox Anyanwu and Luke Northmore continue the partnership they have established during pre-season fixtures against London Scottish and Leinster, while there are no changes to a back three of Cadan Murley, Nick David and Tyrone Green that faced Leinster last Friday night.

Commenting, Head Coach Tabai Matson said: “It’s great to be back in a Premiership game week. We’ve had two strong pre-season fixtures, but there’s a different energy around the camp this week.

“We know from our first game against Newcastle last season that they are a tough, determined team and you have to be on the ball against them. They’ll have a bit of a different energy and a new direction with a new man in charge. It’s the first game of the season we’ll play in anger. It’s so important we are focused and clear on getting our lines right to start the season off well.”

Harlequins Starting XV

  1. Joe Marler

  2. George Head

  3. Wilco Louw

  4. George Hammond

  5. Irne Herbst

  6. Jack Kenningham

  7. Tom Lawday

  8. Alex Dombrandt – Captain

  9. Lewis Gjaltema

  10. Tommy Allan

  11. Cadan Murley

  12. Lennox Anyanwu

  13. Luke Northmore

  14. Nick David

  15. Tyrone Green

Impact Players

16. Jack Walker

17. Simon Kerrod

18. Will Collier

19. Dino Lamb

20. Will Evans

21. Jack Stafford

22. Will Edwards

23. Joe Marchant

Images & Content – Quins Rugby


RFU Statement on London Irish



The RFU Club Financial Viability Group has agreed to give London Irish a one-week extended deadline to meet the original conditions as set out below and pay the remaining May payroll to staff and players.

1) a takeover of the club has been completed and approved by the RFU, with the buyers undertaking to provide all required working capital to meet the club’s obligations as they fall due for at least season 2023/24; or

2) the club evidences that it will continue to be funded to operate throughout the 2023/24 season. If the club fails to meet these conditions it will be suspended from participating in the Premiership (and other competitions) in season 2023/24 to avoid a scenario where the club enters insolvency mid-season, with the corresponding and substantial impact that has on players, staff, and fans, as well as on the remainder of the league.

The extension, until Tuesday 6 June, has been given following consultation with staff and players who asked for the deadline to be extended to allow them to be paid 50% of their salaries.

Paula Carter, RFU Board Member and Chair of the Club Financial Viability Working Group said; “It is deeply frustrating for all the staff, players and fans that there have been multiple missed deadlines. 

“We are extremely disappointed that the club has so far only funded 50% of the staff and player wages, however, we have to respect the wishes of those most affected.

“The 4pm deadline on 6 June is final and we have added the stipulation that the club must also fulfil its contractual obligations to its employees by paying the May salaries in full.”

Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby

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Coenie Oosthuizen to leave Sale Sharks



Springbok Coenie swapping Sharks for Sharks

Prop Coenie Oosthuizen leaving Sale Sharks to join South African side Cell C Sharks

Sale Sharks can confirm that prop Coenie Oosthuizen will leave the club to return to South African side Cell C Sharks.

The 34-year-old Springbok, who can play on either side of the scrum, arrived in Manchester in May 2019 from the Durban-based Super Rugby side.

He’s gone on to make 94 appearances for Sale, including 16 this season as Alex Sanderson’s men reached their first Premiership final in 17 years.

Coenie made his debut for the Springboks in 2012 and has since won 30 international caps.

Sharks Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson said: “Since he arrived in Manchester, Coenie has been a massive part of this team and this club and everyone is going to miss him.

“On the field he’s a fantastic player but off it, he’s been a real leader for us in what is a young squad.”

Everyone at Sale Sharks would like to thank Coenie 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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Leicester Tigers 23/24 Coaching Team



Leicester Tigers can confirm the club’s senior coaching team ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Dan McKellar, who was announced as the club’s new Head Coach in February, will oversee the rugby programme and lead on the line out and forwards coaching.

Brett Deacon will lead on the breakdown and contact area, while also assisting McKellar with the forwards.

Deacon made 135 first-team appearances in two spells as a player with Tigers before joining the coaching staff upon retiring in 2015. After working with the club’s academy for two seasons, he joined the senior coaching team ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.

Matt Everard, who joined the club midway the 22/23 season as Senior Academy Coach before taking on a permanent senior role in December 2022, is the Defence Coach.

After representing Tigers, Wasps and Nottingham as a player, Everard moved into coaching with The Archers before returning to Wasps as Academy Coach and moved into the senior coaching team ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

Alan Dickens, Dan Palmer and Ollie Richardson are the additions to the club ahead of the new season.

Dickens will take charge of the Attack & Backs, Palmer is the Scrum Coach and Richardson joins as Head of Physical Performance.

Read more on the appointments of the trio here:

Matt Smith will be the Skills Coach for the senior squad and take on the newly-created Lead Academy Coach role which sees him responsible for the Senior Academy Squad and transition of players from junior to senior rugby.

Smith made 228 appearances for Tigers before coaching the club’s academy side after retiring from playing in 2019, and joined the senior coaching team ahead of the 20/21 season.

Speaking about his coaching team, incoming Leicester Tigers Head Coach Dan McKellar said: “I am excited by the group we have put together, which has a great balance of continuity and new voices who will bring fresh ideas.”

“It was important to me that there was a mix of people who not only understand the Premiership, but vital that they understand Leicester Tigers and we have got that in Brett Deacon, Matt Everard and Matt Smith, as well as the majority of our performance staff who remain with the club.

“In addition, to have Alan Dickens and Ollie Richardson’s knowledge of the English game, players and competitions we compete in is of great value, and Dan Palmer’s expertise is very exciting for the club moving forward.

“What is most pleasing for me is that this coaching team are excited by the squad we have to work with from next season at Leicester Tigers, because of where they are at currently and work they have done but, importantly, how it can evolve.”

Leicester Tigers 23/24 Coaching Team

  • Dan McKellar, Head Coach
  • Brett Deacon, Assistant Coach
  • Alan Dickens, Attack & Backs Coach
  • Matt Everard, Defence Coach
  • Dan Palmer, Scrum Coach
  • Ollie Richardson, Head of Physical Performance
  • Matt Smith, Skills Coach & Lead Academy Coach

The club can also confirm that Richard Wilks has been appointed General Manager.

Wilks joined Tigers during the 20/21 campaign as a consultant before being appointed Head of Performance Recruitment in November 2021.

Discussing the appointments, Leicester Tigers CEO Andrea Pinchen said: “I believe we have put together a world class coaching team, headed up by Dan McKellar, to lead Leicester Tigers from next season into this exciting new chapter of the club’s history”

“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to bring this impressive group who all offer their own unique skills, experience and knowledge from diverse backgrounds in the game.

“Most pleasing for me in this group is a shared desire to see this club continue to be successful but, even more so, strive to reach new heights together.

“After a turbulent year for all involved with Leicester Tigers, to be able to confirm our senior coaching team now is a great pleasure for me and I hope our supporters are as excited as I am about them leading this club into the future.”

The Leicester Tigers squad will commence pre-season training in July ahead of the 23/24 campaign.

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby

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