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Key Harlequins Coaches sign permanent deals



(Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)

Harlequins Coaches Nick Evans, Adam Jones and Jerry Flannery have signed new and permanent deals with the Club

Harlequins is delighted to announce that coaches Adam Jones (Scrum Coach), Jerry Flannery (Lineout and Defence Coach) and Nick Evans (Attack and Backs Coach) have put pen to paper on new deals at The Stoop as the Double English champions continue to build for long term, sustained success following their 2020/21 Premiership triumph.

A Harlequins legend as both a player and coach, Evans is arguably one of the best overseas signings in the Gallagher Premiership’s history, guiding Quins to its first-ever Premiership title in 2012 after arriving from New Zealand in 2008. In 2017 Evans made the switch from player to coach after notching up over 200 appearances and 2249 points over a nine-year playing career at The Stoop. A member of Quins’ title-winning coaching set-up last season, Evans recommits to the Club to extend a 14-year career in London.

A famed 100-Test cap Wales and British and Irish Lions international, Jones extends a seven-year stay with the London side having arrived in 2015 as a player. A year later, Jones’ role changed as he took up a joint playing and coaching position, going on to coach with the Club full-time after retiring from playing at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Former Ireland international Flannery signs a new deal with the Club having arrived ahead of the 2020/21 season to assume the role of Lineout Coach, taking on his current title of Lineout and Defence Coach during Quins’ spectacular Gallagher Premiership-winning run last year.

Senior Coach Tabai Matson said: “The coaching group did an amazing job last year with a fantastic team. It’s always interesting to come from the outside and join a cohesive group – and that’s exactly what they were. They are a high functioning team.

“One thing I’ve really enjoyed is that they’re all completely different. They have different energies, they’re all fantastic within their portfolios and they all compliment each other really well. For me, joining a team like that was exciting. It’s fantastic that they’ve all re-signed as a group.

“What Nick brings to the table is an analytical view. He’s got all that experience from his playing days but now he’s leading and driving the likes of Marcus and Danny. We’re blessed to have him in the mix.

“He’s completely different to Jerry, who brings this real intensity to the way he leads the lineouts and the defence. He’s fantastic practitioner and I’m not sure if it’s just his accent but he’s a wonderful storyteller and he drives a lot of the energy in the week.

“And of course, Bomb [Adam Jones], our Welshman. It’s really an eclectic group of nations, which is one of the things we love about the game, isn’t it?

“Our scrum has often been the thing that’s kept us in games, so with his experience and the way he drives the scrummaging, he’s been a key part of the success here so far.”

Commenting, Harlequins CEO Laurie Dalrymple said: “We are all delighted to have three such highly regarded individuals sign new contracts with the Club. Alongside Billy Millard [Director of Rugby Performance] and Charlie Mulchrone [Skills and Kicking Coach], Nick, Adam and Jerry guided this team to one of the most incredible stories in the Premiership’s history. Overseeing a return to Harlequins’ DNA of old as the team has tapped into the Club’s historic and famous style of play, we have seen huge engagement and interaction not only from our supporters but the wider sporting world.

“Alongside the 17 recent key player contract renewals, we are all thrilled to have Nick, Adam and Jerry commit their futures with us. By signing new and permanent deals within our coaching team working alongside Billy, Charlie and Tabai, we have built a brilliant team to help our squad grow, develop and to achieve our ambitious goals.”

Source – Harlequins Rugby


O’Loughlin looks to build on solid start



Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens

Rory O’Loughlin believes the hard yards put in during a testing pre-season programme have already started to pay dividends for the Exeter Chiefs.

Three games into the new Gallagher Premiership campaign and it’s been a dream start for the Devonians, who have notched up victories over Leicester Tigers, Worcester Warriors and Harlequins.

Irishman O’Loughlin has featured in all three games and he will start tomorrow’s Round Four encounter away to Sale Sharks as the Chiefs look to build on their impressive start.

It will, however, be another acid test for Rob Baxter’s side, particularly as the Sharks themselves are unbeaten in the top flight so far this term.

“It’s a massive challenge for us,” said O’Loughlin, who joined the Chiefs this summer from Leinster. “Already I’ve seen just how competitive the Premiership is. Every week it’s a different challenge and one which you have to be ready for. There are no easy games!”

Last-gasp victories over Leicester Tigers and Harlequins showed the fighting spirit of the Chiefs, whose summer work alongside the Royal Marines has definitely helped to give them a hard-nosed edge to their play.

“There were times in pre-season when I was questioning my move,” joked O’Loughlin. “The days were long, the sessions were hard, but you’ve seen in these first few games that are fitness levels are high and that we’re able to keep going for the full 80 minutes.

“Although we’ve come out of two of those games with last minute scores, we deserved to win those games, so that’s a big positive and something that we can look to build on.”

Exeter’s strong start has certainly laid a solid foundation from which they can build, but O’Loughlin feels there is still more to come from the team, starting at the Salford Stadium this weekend.

“There was a lot of chat during pre-season where we talked about learning from last season, where we missed out on points we probably should have secured,” he added. “As I said, every game is massive and you have to take points when they are on offer.

“Sale this weekend, we know it’s going to be tough. If you look at their team and the way some of their players play, it’s all based around them getting that physical dominance. We’ve talked a lot about this week and we know we have to match them in that area if we are to get anything from the game.

“That said, we’re coming into the game ourselves in a good mindset and looking to build on what we’ve done so far this season. There have been lots of positives in our game and that’s what we need to use again at the weekend.”

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby

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Team News | Tigers side to take on Saracens



Steve Borthwick has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad for the club’s away game against Saracens in Round 4 of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season.

Hanro Liebenberg captains the side with Ben Youngs named as vice-captain for Saturday’s match at StoneX Stadium.

Borthwick has made eight changes to the starting side from the away win over Northampton Saints in Round 3.

Anthony Watson is named to make his Leicester Tigers senior debut, while Handré Pollard is in line for his first appearance after being included among the replacements.

Phil Cokanasiga, Olly Cracknell, Joe Heyes and Kini Murimurivalu have been named to make their first starts of the 2022/23 campaign after featuring from the bench during the opening rounds.

15 Freddie Steward [57]
14 Anthony Watson *
13 Phil Cokanasiga [3]
12 Jimmy Gopperth [3]
11 Kini Murimurivalu [38]
10 Freddie Burns [105]
9 Ben Youngs (vc) [285]
1 James Cronin [3]
2 Charlie Clare [55]
3 Joe Heyes [103]
4 Harry Wells [159]
5 Eli Snyman [21]
6 Olly Cracknell [3]
7 Tommy Reffell [81]
8 Hanro Liebenberg (c) [62]

16 Joe Taufete’e [2]
17 Francois van Wyk [20]
18 Dan Cole [293]
19 Ollie Chessum [33]
20 George Martin [42]
21 Jack van Poortvliet [50]
22 Handré Pollard *
23 Chris Ashton [15]

* Leicester Tigers senior debut

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby

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Roux and van Velze to make first Bath Rugby starts v London Irish



Bath Rugby have made five changes to their starting XV for the trip to London Irish in Round 4 of the Gallagher Premiership.

Quinn Roux and GJ van Velze will earn their first starts for the club from lock and blindside flanker respectively, while Juan Schoeman will make his maiden start of the campaign.

Josh Bayliss comes back into the back row that is missing Richard de Carpentier and Chris Cloete due to injury. The latter has sustained a broken metatarsal and will begin his rehabilitation post-surgery.

In the backs, Gabriel Hamer-Webb is the only amendment to the backline that started against Wasps. Will Muir suffered an injury in training and will seek specialist opinion. Matt Gallagher retains his place at full-back with Tom de Glanville’s hamstring issue needing further treatment.

Elsewhere, Tom Dunn remains as captain for his 175th Bath appearance with Will Stuart, Josh McNally and Miles Reid also maintaining their spots in the pack. 

Louis Schreuder and Orlando Bailey’s half-back partnership continues as does the midfield link-up of Max Ojomoh and Jonathan Joseph. Joe Cokanasiga completes the XV from the wing.

On the bench, D’Arcy Rae has returned from injury while Tom Ellis and Ruaridh McConnochie are included following midweek action in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Bath Rugby team to play London Irish


15 Henry Arundell, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Will Joseph, 12 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White; 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 5 Rob Simmons, 6 Ben Donnell, 7 Tom Pearson, 8 Matt Rogerson (c)


16 Isaac Miller, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Josh Caulfield, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Chandler Cunningham-South, 22 Caolan Englefield, 23 James Stokes



Content & Images from – Bath Rugby

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