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Report | Tigers win final game of pre-season



Harry Potter scored a hat-trick of tries as Leicester Tigers recorded a 42-28 victory over Newcastle Falcons in a pre-season fixture at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Friday evening.

Potter scored twice in the opening quarter of the game and Charlie Clare added a third as Tigers led 21-7 at half-time.

At the beginning of the Bank Holiday weekend, both head coaches named extended squads and used the second period to spread gametime through their ranks with the new Gallagher Premiership season now just two weeks away.

Anthony Watson, Jimmy Gopperth and James Cronin were among the Tigers newcomers to sample running out at their new home stadium, with Tom Horton, Joe Taufute’e and Phil Cokanasiga joining the action after the break.

Potter completed his hat-trick at the start of the second half, with Taufete’e and Sean Jansen adding further scores in the final run-put before the start of the new season.

After Newcastle kicked off towards the Beehive Money Stand, they enjoyed some decent possession but could not progress further than the 22 with Tigers tackling quickly until eventually turning over ball and, just moments later, Steve Borthwick’s men were on the scoresheet.

Potter recovered from an early tumble when he was impeded in collecting a high ball which led to a yellow card for Vereimi Qorowale to get the first points on the board after five minutes, taking a long pass on the left wing and then winning the race to his chip kick to dot down. Freddie Burns added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

A knock-on from the restart gave Falcons put-in ball just 10 metres out from the Tigers tryline but the set-piece brought a penalty which Burns kicked back up to halfway.

Potter led the kickchase to a diagonal prod from Burns to the left-hand corner and was rewarded with a penalty but, when play was spread to the opposite flank, Chris Ashton was bundled into touch just five metres out.

Matt Scott showed pace and composure as he covered a dangerous kick down the Falcons right and then dodged two tacklers to allow Tigers to re-set and clear.

Potter was back on the scoresheet on 21 minutes as he collected a crosskick on the left just seconds after a second yellow card had been shown to Qorowale as he tackled Ashton close to the line on the opposite wing.

Falcons lost attacking scrum possession and then missed a lineout in the corner but, when Eli Snyman stole a lineout at the opposite end, a chip from Ben Youngs over last man Logovi’i Mulipola somehow slipped from Ashton’s reach.

George Martin showed strength and good footwork to lead the next attack, but Tigers lost ball 15 metres out and Falcons were able to clear the danger.

The home defence was tested with a break by Gary Graham up the middle and, when Falcons retained ball, it was the back-rower who broke a final tackle to score next to the posts. The conversion from Brett Connon made it 14-7 on 35 minutes.

But Martin’s lineout catch set up position for a third Tigers try shortly before half-time, with Falcons backtracking quickly as Clare touched down and Burns added a third conversion for a 21-7 lead.

England Under-20s cap Jed Walsh was added to the Tigers backline for the start of the second period, while Falcons changed their entire line-up in their first outing of pre-season.

The opening points came with a hat-trick score for Potter in the left-hand corner after some crisp work in attack and Burns added the conversion from the touchline as Tigers sent on five replacements from the bench including Taufete’e.

Falcons responded with a try from Iwan Stephens, winning the chase to ball on the left, with new fly-half Josh Thomas adding the extras as Borthwick sent on replacements including summer signing Cokanasiga.

Lewis Chessum’s first involvement was stealing lineout ball and two direct carries from Kini Murimurivalu got Tigers going forward again before Hosea Saumaki was tackled into touch in the corner.

When wing Adam Radwan was met with a double tackle on the tryline, Tigers continued to defend strongly until Falcons were held up in possession.

But straight from the drop-out, Falcons returned at pace, with Stephens releasing Radwan to score on the right and Thomas was on target with the extras to make it 28-21 with 10 minutes still to play.

A break from Cokansiga was appreciated by the sizeable crowd and ended with a fifth try, with Taufete’e forcing his way over to the left of the posts and Gopperth added the conversion.

But Falcons soon celebrated another try of their own, scrum-half Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti wriggling out of contact to run clear. Thomas added the extras to put just seven points between the teams entering the closing couple of minutes.

Horton replaced Taufete’e in the middle of the front row and was immediately on the ball on the left but Falcons stood up to the lineout drive.

They were pinned inside their own 22, though, and the game ended with Sean Jansen making the final push from a lineout drive for another Tigers try, which Gopperth converted from the right touchline.

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers 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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