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Match Report: Bath Rugby 19-18 Leicester Tigers




Will Butt proved the hero in front of an ecstatic Rec as his last-gasp try won the game for Bath Rugby against age-old rivals Leicester Tigers.

The wing finished acrobatically in the corner and after a TMO check, the noise of the home faithful said it all.

Nemani Nadolo barged his way over for Leicester early on and Freddie Burns added a penalty before Ted Hill’s storming try up the wing.

James Cronin added Tigers’ second but it was all Bath thereafter with Orlando Bailey’s boot keeping the hosts in contention before Butt’s sensational touchdown.


Niall Annett was making his first start for Bath with Ben Spencer and Bailey returning to the half-back slots.

Former Bath man Anthony Watson took his place at full-back for Tigers with another old face in Burns taking the 10 jersey.

Bath Rugby: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Will Butt, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ollie Lawrence, 11 Matt Gallagher, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer ©; 1 Valeriy Morozov, 2 Niall Annett, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 4 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Quinn Roux, 6 Ted Hill, 7 Miles Reid, 8 Richard de Carpentier 

Impact players: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Tom Ellis, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 Max Green, 22 Cameron Redpath, 23 Wesley White

Leicester Tigers: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Harry Potter, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Richard Wigglesworth; 1 James Cronin, 2 Charlie Clare, 3 Dan Cole (vc), 4 Harry Wells, 5 Calum Green, 6 George Martin, 7 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 8 Olly Cracknell

Replacements: 16 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Will Hurd, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 Sean Jansen, 21 Sam Edwards, 22 Charlie Atkinson, 23 Phil Cokanasiga

first half

Adding to his extensive number of metres gained this season, some beautiful work by Ollie Lawrence in the opening minutes of the game gave Bath the first kicking opportunity early into the match.

Bailey hadn’t lost his touch during his time off the pitch with a well-struck penalty, earning Bath the first points of the evening.

Striking back with some metres of their own, Leicester Tigers spread the ball wide to Nemani Nadolo who used his speed and strength to boulder through the Bath defence and crash himself over the line for the first try of the game, converted by Freddie Burns.

With scores on the board for both sides, the game was off to an exciting start in both physicality and speed, as were The Rec faithful who were in full voice.

With Tigers’ piling the pressure on in Bath’s half, Lawrence became a nuisance for the Tigers’ attack and forced a knock-on gifting Bath a scrum to diffuse the threat.

After signing for Leicester last season, Watson attempted an attack of his own but was stopped in his tracks with a huge sandwich tackle by his ex-teammates.

Some ill-discipline from Bath allowed Burns to kick for the posts again, taking the score to 10-3.

With some magic hands from the Bath pack, the next score came after a huge carry from Jonathan Joseph. Offloading to Miles Reid, the flanker sent a looping pass back inside to his back row counterpart Hill who stepped on the gas and headed straight for the whitewash and into the arms of the welcoming South Stand.

Tigers threatened Bath deep into the first half but after a review from the TMO, referee Tom Foley ruled the score out and the score remained with just two points separating the sides.

Unable to disrupt a driving Tigers’ maul in the closing seconds of the half, Tigers squeezed in another try and the teams headed into the sheds with one score in it, with the visitors leading 15-8.

second half

The second half got off to a slow start with both teams sending the ball into the air in the midfield. Matt Gallagher was perfect under the high ball all evening and it was his boot later on that would able Bath to go on and win.

Getting *almost* the loudest cheer of the night, Tom Dunn blocked a Tigers’ 22 drop-out and showed his football skills to force a knock-on and put Bath on the attack in the visitors’ territory.

Arthur Cordwell proved a menace at the scrum, winning two scrum penalties with his dominance, with Bailey slotting to see the score sit at 18-14 with five minutes on the clock. 

Leaving The Rec on tenterhooks, Bath piled on the pressure in the closing minutes of the game and Gallagher’s massive left-footed kick moved the Blue, Black and White back into the 22. The full-back moments later played the perfect pass to wing Butt who, with a lot to do, dotted down in the finest of finishes to turn the match on its head. 

To the sound of a roaring Rec, Bath celebrated their third win of the season against the Gallagher Premiership champions.

Next up… the Barbarians are in town!

Pol Roger Performance of the Match




A host of established internationals will be included in the Barbarians squad for their visit to The Rec this autumn.

From club favourite Matt Banahan to All Black Damian McKenzie, the BaaBaas have a squad full of flair and talent for when they take on Bath Rugby.

The Blue, Black and White will host world rugby’s most famous invitational side, coached by Crusaders Head Coach and former All Black Scott Robertson, on Sunday 20 November, kick-off 14:00.

Don’t miss out on what will be a special day!


pre-order your matchday programme!

To mark Bath Rugby’s historic fixture with the Barbarians this month, the club will be producing a hard copy programme!




Content & Images from – Bath Rugby


Club announce arrival of former Wallaby coach



Leicester Tigers Head Coach Dan McKellar has appointed Petrus du Plessis to his senior coaching team as Interim Scrum Coach.

The South African will remain in the role until the arrival of new Scrum Coach Dan Palmer, when his commitments with the Wallabies are complete following the Australian national side’s Rugby World Cup campaign.

Born in South Africa, du Plessis represented St Helens, Orrell and Sedgley Park between 2001-2009 before joining Nottingham Rugby ahead of the 2009/10 Championship season.

He joined Saracens a year later and, during the next sevens seasons, featured in three league and two European Champions Cup winning campaigns.

The front-rower moved to London Irish in 2017 and then Glasgow Warriors in 2018, spending two seasons in Scotland before retiring in 2020 – including a final season as player/coach.

In September 2020, du Plessis was announced as Australia’s Scrum Coach where he worked alongside McKellar for almost three years.

Speaking about the interim appointment, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Dan McKellar said: “Our scrum is an integral part of what we do and, with Dan [Palmer] arriving after the World Cup, we felt it was important to have that specific focus on it during this period.

“To have been able to appoint someone with the experience of Petrus for that was an added bonus and too good an opportunity not to take up for the club and our players.

“I have worked with Petrus over the past few years in Australia and know the energy and enthusiasm he brings, as well as the effort he puts into his work. I am glad we’re able to have that here at Leicester Tigers in the interim.”

The appointment of Petrus du Plessis to the interim role is effective immediately.

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby

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Bath confirm 2023/24 squad



The official Bath Rugby squad for the 2023/24 season has been announced.

Entering into his second year at the helm of Bath Rugby, Johann van Graan welcomed Ollie Lawrence, Ted Hill, Alfie Barbeary and Fergus Lee-Warner over the course of 2022/23, who remain with squad as we head into 2023/24.

With Finn Russell and Thomas du Toit still yet to link up with the squad after the Rugby World Cup, the Head of Rugby’s squad is looking full of power and prowess. 

Several big names committed their futures to the Blue, Black and White earlier this year, seeing England internationals Tom Dunn, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Ben Spencer and Joe Cokanasiga all re-signing. 

Scotland international Cameron Redpath also pledged his future to the club, as did Irish international second row Quinn Roux. 

Arriving at the club this summer is recently announced signing, Mikey Summerfield, who joined from London Irish. The young prop has been lauded with talent and high prospects, offering another option in the front row. 

Bath Rugby also named Billy Sela, Jack Bennett, Ieuan Davies, Ioan Emanuel, Rory Cameron, James Short, George Timmins and Raff Weston as their Academy intake for 2023/24, with many of them already putting their stamp on the age-grade international stage. 

The Bath Rugby squad are now preparing for the season ahead, with the opening fixtures seeing the commencement of a newly formatted Premiership Rugby Cup.

The coaching set-up has also been refreshed for 2023/23. Joining van Graan on his staffing team are Assistant Coaches Lee Blackett and Richard Blaze, who arrived at the club from Wasps and Leicester Tigers ahead of pre-season.

Stevie Scott and Andy Robinson have also joined van Graan to assist with scrummaging and the coaching of the Academy, respectively.

JP Ferreira and Jon Callard remain with the squad into their second year alongside van Graan. 

bath rugby squad 2023/24

PROP: Arthur Cordwell, Thomas du Toit, Ioan Emanuel, Archie Griffin, Johannes Jonker, Scott Kirk, Beno Obano, Juan Schoeman, Billy Sela, Archie Stanley, Will Stuart, Mikey Summerfield, Kieran Verden

HOOKER: Niall Annett, Tom Dunn, Max Pearce, Jasper Spandler, John Stewart

SECOND ROW: Jack Bennett, Rory Cameron, Harvey Cuckson, Josh Dingley, Eddie Erskine, Charlie Ewels, Will Jeanes, Fergus Lee-Warner, Daniel Marais, Josh McNally, Ewan Richards, Quinn Roux

BACK ROW: Abdul-Khalik Akenzua Al Kareem, Alfie Barbeary, Josh Bayliss, Chris Cloete, Jaco Coetzee, Thompson Cowan, MacKenzie Graham, Arthur Green, Ted Hill, Nahum Merigan, Miles Reid, Ethan Staddon, George Timmins, JJ Tonks, Sam Underhill

SCRUM-HALF: Tom Carr-Smith, Ieuan Davies, Murdoch Lock, Louis Schreuder, Ben Spencer

FLY-HALF: Orlando Bailey, Piers Francis, Sam Harris, Finn Russell, Raff Weston, George Worboys

CENTRE: Will Butt, Louie Hennessey, Ollie Lawrence, Max Ojomoh, Will Parry, Cameron Redpath, James Short, Max Wright

BACK THREE: Joe Cokanasiga, Tom de Glanville, Ciaran Donoghue, Matt Gallagher, Gabe Goss, Luke Graham, Byron Lloyd-Gilmour, Ruaridh McConnochie, Will Muir

bath rugby coaching team

HEAD OF RUGBY: Johann van Graan

ASSISTANT COACHES: Lee Blackett, Richard Blaze, Jon Callard, JP Ferreira, Andy Robinson, Stevie Scott


Content & Images from – Bath Rugby

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Alex Brown | Open letter to supporters



Gloucester Rugby

Dear All, 

I wanted to write following Lance’s announcement last week that he was standing down as CEO of Gloucester Rugby. First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lance for his significant contribution to the Club over the past four years; during Lance’s stewardship, we have emerged from an extremely challenging period to a position of financial health and together, have built a team of staff and players who hold a forward-thinking mindset, setting up our Club well for a promising future ahead.  

I feel truly privileged and humbled to have been asked by Martin St Quinton to help to drive the Club forward this summer. 

So, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight how the off-season is progressing behind the scenes.  

150th Anniversary 

Founded in 1873, it is an incredibly exciting year for the Club as we celebrate our 150th Anniversary. We have been working on plans to commemorate this significant event and look forward to hosting our Big Summer Party on the 12th August to kick off the season. There will be live music, community coaching opportunities, signing sessions and more. And of course, not forgetting a hero’s welcome for our Premier 15s winning Gloucester-Hartpury team who will be joining us on the day to mark this notable milestone in the Club’s history. I am also delighted to announce that we will be launching our new 2023/24 home shirt on this day too. 


The full fixture list has now been drawn; and with a new season structure in place this year (owing to the Rugby World Cup), the Gallagher Premiership season will start slightly later, and include a rest period during the Six Nations. This is a beneficial change for the whole league, ensuring that international players are available and promoting Premiership Rugby for much of the season. Tickets for our opening three Premiership games and all our Premiership Cup fixtures will go on sale on the 1st August.  Our Venue Sales Team have been working hard to update and improve the hospitality packages for next season and I’m pleased to say we are already taking bookings for the first three games. If you are interested in learning more about our hospitality packages, please do get in touch with us here.  

We are delighted to have over 5000 Club Members already signed up for next season, with another 200 Gloucester-Hartpury Club Memberships sold in our first season too. There’s still time to secure yours if you haven’t yet. Being a Club Member is the most cost-effective way to secure your spot at every regular home fixture next season. All Club Membership packs will be sent out over the coming month. You can get your membership here

2023/24 season 

As we edge closer towards September, work is continuing behind the scenes across the business in readiness for the new season. Our ambition remains to deliver success for our Club at every level; either through on-field success, through our inspiring work within the community or the experiences we all enjoy at our stadium. We have always benefitted from a strong brand and an incredible fan base; now is the time we strengthen that to put Gloucester Rugby at the top of the table in all areas. 

I’d also like to thank you for your tremendous ongoing support. Despite last season not finishing how we hoped, we still had record numbers of supporters turning out to watch our men’s and women’s teams. We hope that as we grow, you will remain on this journey with us and once again, thank you. I look forward to welcoming you back to Kingsholm again.  

I will keep everyone informed as things are firmed up in terms of long-term leadership for the Club. 

Best wishes, 


Content & Images from – Gloucester Rugby

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