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Mike Ford’s Role Changed at Leicester

Mike Ford’s role has been revised at Leicester Tigers ahead of the new campaign

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Mike Ford’s role has been revised at Leicester Tigers and he will now take up the job of attacks coach.

Ford was brought in halfway through last season as a consultant to help the club avoid relegation. However, former Tigers coach Pat Howard has now taken over the job of mentoring the managerial group meaning that Ford has been allowed to shift positions.

Having scored only 47 tries during a terrible season for the Tigers, head coach Geordan Murphy is delighted to have Ford in a more defined role.

“The nature of last season it certainly felt I was in doing quite a lot throughout the season. Having Mike come on board and take a little bit more of a lead in the attack has been great for me in that it helps me oversee and have those conversations with Mike and we have got Phil Blake who has got a pre-season, he has been putting the defence together,” he said while talking to Leicester Tigers TV.

He went on to give a rundown of which coaches will be taking control of each area as the club look to massively improve on their 11th place finish last season.

“He joined us in January and that was probably one of the massive areas of improvement that we expect to see. Mark Bakewell is taking the forwards and Brett Deacon is picking up all the work that needs to be done in and around that. We have resourced well and hopefully, we can keep improving. Mike is going to run the attack. Phil will run the defence, Mark will run the forwards and Brett is going to do breakdown across the club. At the minute Boris (Stankovich) does the scrum and does that throughout the club and we’re lucky. One of the things that I was conscious that I wanted to do was use people where they are strong. We have got some great coaches in the academy as well who will help develop and mentor guys. Dave Mele has come on board the academy and we will use him with the first-team nines and 10s as well,” he added.

The squad are currently training at an army base in Aldershot to try and improve their fitness levels ahead of the 2019/20 season, as Murphy believes that it’s an area where they were weaker last season.

“We are very lucky to be here and train at a new venue. We can get the players together for a week so we can have numerous training sessions and meetings and spend a little bit of time together… we wanted to work on our fitness. We have done that over the first few weeks and coming to an army camp enables us to train particularly hard. It [pre-season] has been good so far. The players are working very hard and I have to commend them. There has been a real attitude shift. People recognise we probably weren’t fit enough last season and it is something we wanted to address,” he finished up.

Murphy and his side have not only switched up the coaching staff but have spent big during the summer too and will be expected to have a much improved season than the one gone by.


Premiership

O’Loughlin looks to build on solid start

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Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens
30/9/22

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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Premiership

Team News | Tigers side to take on Saracens

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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.

STARTING XV:
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]

REPLACEMENTS:
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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Premiership

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

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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


THE OPPOSITION

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)

Replacements

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


COMPEED RECOVERY JOURNEYS


 

Content & Images from – Bath Rugby


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