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Stuart: Bristol win is just the start for us



Tuesday 4 October 2022

Sam Stuart insists his Newcastle Falcons side are not getting carried away with one victory as they prepare to host Saracens in Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership action.

The scrum-half made his comeback from a long-term foot injury by playing the full 80 minutes in Friday’s 30-15 victory over previously-unbeaten Bristol Bears, with the Falcons recording a four-try bonus point into the bargain.

“We beat Bristol but it’s only one game, and I’m sure Bristol will be the first to say they didn’t play very well on the night,” said Stuart, who has made 63 appearances since joining from Richmond in the summer of 2017.

“Things clicked for us but it was only one win out of four games, and Sarries will be a different challenge this weekend.

“It’s just how we adapt to that and what consistency we can deliver that will determine the outcome, but we’ve at least shown now that we can do it.

“We had two tag lines in the week which were ‘attitude and intensity’, and I think both were there in volumes against Bristol. We had attitude in terms of things like our kick-chase, and the intensity of our tackle contest.

“The discipline across the board was much better even though we had two yellow cards, and then the discipline to score pretty much every time we were in the red zone.”

Even with a nine-day turnaround Stuart says there is no time for he and his team-mates to rest on their laurels, with unbeaten Saracens arriving in a rich seam of form following their own demolition of champions Leicester Tigers last weekend.

“There are no easy games in the Gallagher Premiership, and that’s why everyone loves it,” he said.

“Regardless of who you’ve just beaten or lost against, the next game is always going to be tough. Some teams bring with them a bit of prestige if you beat them, and Saracens would definitely be one of those.

“They’ve been very good for a long time now and they’re looking really good again this season. They hammered Leicester last weekend and are probably smarting from losing the Premiership final in June, but as we saw down at Worcester emotion can play a massive part on the day.

“Saracens kick the ball a lot and they’re very good at it, but they seem to be playing a bit more this season. They’re efficient in everything they do, and when they’re in the right areas they’ll play.”

Focusing predominantly on his own team rather than the opposition, he added: “We’re probably still finding our own strengths a little bit, and with the changes we’ve had on the coaching team I think that’s understandable.

“Dave Walder has gone from doing the attack to defence, Mark Laycock has gone from doing skills to running the attack and it takes time for them to imprint what they want.

“I’d say we’ve got an ambitious style of play, allied to that traditional North East grunt which people probably know us for. We’ve always had a good maul, our scrum is getting there and it’s not a bad balance.

“The thing like Dave said after the Bristol game is to make it the norm rather than the exception, so that’s the big challenge for us.

“There’s an obvious feelgood factor and a certain amount of plaudits that come with beating the top-of-the-league team on national TV, but when we’re sat there on one win from four games we can’t be thinking it’s job done.

“This is just the start for us.”

Click here to buy tickets for Sunday’s 3pm home kick-off against Saracens.

Read an exclusive in-depth profile with Sam Stuart in Sunday’s free digital match programme.

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


Team News | Carter starts with Kata on-debut off the bench



Leicester Tigers have named their team for Saturday’s trip south to take on Saracens at StoneX Stadium at 3:05pm, live on TNT Sports.

Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar has made three changes to his matchday selection. Tongan international Solomone Kata is named for a potential Tigers debut with Australian lock Sam Carter earning his first Premiership start.

Olly Cracknell starts at number eight after missing Tigers’ victory over bath in round three.

Leicester will welcome back their remaining Rugby World Cup players on Monday.

Leicester Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar said: “Saturday’s a great challenge for our group and we’ve embraced that.”

“Sam has been really good for us off the bench the last couple of weeks so earns a start and we’re excited to see what Sol (Kata) can bring with his ball-carry and his energy on the field.”



15 Mike Brown [12]

14 Josh Bassett [5]

13 Guy Porter [66]

12 Dan Kelly [62]

11 Ollie Hassell-Collins [6]

10 Jamie Shillcock [7]

9 Tom Whiteley [10]

1 James Cronin [17]

2 Charlie Clare [83]

3 Joe Heyes [128]

4 Cameron Henderson [42]

5 Sam Carter [5]

6 Hanro Liebenberg (c) [90]

7 Tommy Reffell [101]

8 Olly Cracknell [28]



16 Nic Dolly [30]

17 Francois van Wyk [37]

18 Will Hurd [30]

19 Harry Wells [180]

20 Matt Rogerson [5]

21 Joe Powell [6]

22 Charlie Atkinson [22]

23 Solomone Kata*

*Denotes potential Leicester Tigers debut

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby

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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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