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Team news: Falcons side to face Leicester Tigers



Friday 6 January 2023

Adam Radwan and Matias Moroni come in for Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they host Gallagher Premiership champions Leicester Tigers at Kingston Park Stadium.

Radwan starts on the right wing for the 2pm kick-off, with Moroni lining up against the club for whom he started in last season’s victorious Premiership final.

He partners fellow Argentina international Matias Orlando, re-forming the same midfield pairing which started in Los Pumas’ historic test victory away to New Zealand at the start of the season.

Tom Penny continues to captain the Falcons but switches from centre to full-back, having scored two tries away to Northampton the last time he played with No.15 on his back.

Brett Connon is at fly-half after missing just one kick at goal in his last five league outings, with the Falcons aiming to push on from their last home game – a 20-14 triumph against high-flying Sale Sharks on December 23.

On the bench there is a return for hooker Charlie Maddison following the end of his suspension, with Tian Schoeman back from illness.

Looking forward to the game, head coach Dave Walder is well aware of the ways in which Leicester will test his Falcons side.

He said: “Statistically, the games Leicester have won and lost have defined by the territorial battle and the gain line, and we’ve spoken about that.

“Last week Sale Sharks gave a pretty good example of how you need to play against them – Sale were outstanding in what they did – but we know Leicester will be a wounded animal from that.

“We’ve got a good idea of what we need to do, the key is going to be are we able to execute it?”

With Newcastle scoring more first-phase tries this season than most teams in the division, Walder said: “Last year we scored more tries from counter-attack, and it seems like sides have taken notice of that and given us more line-outs, so we’re now starting to see more line-out scores.

“A lot of our first-phase tries have been scored from our maul, which Micky Ward and Scott MacLeod have got well-drilled, and it also creates opportunities around it when defenders get sucked in.

“We’re always looking at ways to score more tries and we’re conscious of the need to do that – whether it’s from one phase or from 27. We’re always looking at ways to get the ball into the hands of runners like Mateo Carreras and Adam Radwan, and our outside backs are absolutely lethal when we get them good ball.

“I hate using the word ‘brave’, because moving the ball wide isn’t brave if that’s where the space is.

“That’s just smart rugby, and part of our problem this season has been that we’re moving the ball to the space probably a phase later than we should have been. So the ball is getting there, but we’re up against a more organised defensive line with plenty of numbers, and we just need to be sharper in not having that extra carry or that extra phase when there’s space on the width.

“We’ve maybe gone into our shell a little bit in certain respects before we move the ball, and we just need to get that balance of moving the ball to the right place at the right time. It’s not a forwards versus backs thing – it’s just guys seeing the space, calling it in and making it happen.”

With the BT Sport cameras in town for only the second time this season, Walder insists he and his players are determined to seize the chance to showcase the club.

“It’s a massive opportunity for us to show a wider audience what we’re about, and we always love being on TV,” said the former England fly-half.

“It’s a shame we’re not on TV more, and there’s a feeling around the club that we get ignored a bit in terms of how few times we get picked for televised matches compared to other clubs.

“First and foremost of course you want people inside the stadium and enjoying the game in person, but for the guys who can’t get here or for your away matches, absolutely you want to have that exposure of being on BT Sport.

“We want people to see what we’ve got going on and what we’re building as a team, and it’s important for us as a club to start getting our fair share of the TV picks.”

Click here to buy tickets for Saturday’s game.

Newcastle Falcons team v Leicester Tigers (Saturday, 2pm, Kingston Park Stadium, live on BT Sport).

15 Tom Penny (captain), 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matias Orlando, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Gary Graham, 7 Callum Chick, 8 Carl Fearns.

Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Matthew Dalton, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 Michael Young, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Elliott Obatoyinbo.

Not available for selection: Sam Clark, Connor Collett, Matt Deehan, Freddie Lockwood, Pete Lucock, Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, Guy Pepper, Josh Peters, Sean Robinson, Oliver Spencer, George Wacokecoke, Will Welch.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Harry Simmons, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 James Cronin, 2 Charlie Clare, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Calum Green, 6 Ollie Chessum, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain).

Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Cameron Henderson, 20 Emeka Ilione, 21 Sean Jansen, 22 Jack van Poortvliet, 23 Jimmy Gopperth.

Referee: Tom Foley.

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


Club announcement: Leicester Tigers Coaching Team



Leicester Tigers Interim Head Coach Richard Wigglesworth and Head of Physical Performance Aled Walters will depart the club at the conclusion of the 2022/23 season. 

Wigglesworth and Walters will join England Rugby senior men’s coaching team. 

Wigglesworth joined Tigers as a player ahead of the 2020/21 season and made 43 appearances for the club, including starting in the 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership Final win, before retiring midway through the current campaign when he was appointed to the Interim Head Coach role.

Walters joined the club in the summer of 2020, during the COVID-19 suspended 2019/20 season, from the World Cup winning South African coaching team after previous roles with Munster, ACT Brumbies and Scarlets.

Speaking about Wigglesworth and Walters, Leicester Tigers Chief Executive Officer Andrea Pinchen said: “Richard and Aled have been key figures at the club in recent seasons in very different ways and, while disappointed to be saying farewell to them at season’s end, thank them for their efforts on and off the field at Leicester Tigers.”

“It has been a great privilege to have had both represent and be a part of Leicester Tigers.

“Their professionalism and leadership shone through when we were forced into changes to our coaching team halfway through a season and they took on more responsibilities, which we are grateful to both for and look forward to continuing to have as part of Leicester Tigers for the remainder of this campaign.

“In the same way that we want to see our players be as successful as possible and achieve accolades at all levels the game, we want our coaches and staff to achieve this as well. The appointment of Leicester Tigers coaches to senior international roles is not only a testament to their hard work and ability, but a great badge of honour for this club.

“We wish both of them all the best for the next chapter in their career and, as they have throughout their tenures at Tigers, know that they are fully committed to finishing their time with the club successfully.”

Leicester Tigers has identified a shortlist of replacements and is nearing the conclusion of the interview stage with candidates.

Speaking about the recruitment process, Pinchen said: “As we have stated before now, we began the process of identifying candidates for the Leicester Tigers Head Coach role at the beginning of the current campaign when we felt there was a chance Steve Borthwick would be targeted by the national side.

“That process has been ongoing for a number of months, from which we narrowed down to a shortlist and are nearing the end of the interview process with those candidates. We will be taking the time we feel necessary to get the best possible people in to lead Leicester Tigers from next season into the future.

“Leicester Tigers is not a club that is interested in having a transition period and are firmly focused on ensuring that this club has the very best coaching available to our players to deliver success on the pitch for our supporters, partners and community.”

The club will make no further comment on the process at this time.

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby

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Cokanasiga confirms future



Bath Rugby can confirm England international Joe Cokanasiga has committed his future to the club.

The 25-year-old has been in fine form this season, scoring four tries in nine Gallagher Premiership matches to date, and joins Tom Dunn, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Cameron Redpath and Ben Spencer in extending his time at The Rec. 

“Joe has been excellent for us this season and we’re delighted he will be staying with us,” Head of Rugby Johann van Graan said.

“He has great physical attributes which he uses to great effect, and his offloading ability in contact has provided us with fantastic attacking opportunities.

“He is an exciting player for us and we have no doubt he will continue to be an integral member of our squad.”

Cokanasiga has flourished under van Graan and has had a notable influence in games due to his power and pace. 

Since arriving in the West Country, the bulldozing wing has featured over 50 times for the Blue, Black and White whilst also making a significant impact on the international stage.

Debuting in 2018 against Japan, Cokanasiga has scored 12 tries in 14 Test matches, adding to his 21 in Bath colours. 

“There are goals I still want to accomplish here,” he said. 

“I really want to mark my time at the club by winning trophies; that’s a big ambition of mine. 

“A lot of change has taken place over the past few years, but this season I’ve found consistency in my performances. I feel I’ve positively contributed to the club’s progression and I’m excited by what’s to come in the next chapter.”



Bath Rugby return to action on Saturday 18 February against London Irish before hosting Bristol Bears on Friday 24 February.

Exeter Chiefs head to The Rec on Sunday 26 March in our penultimate home outing.

Whatever takes your fancy, get your tickets!




Content & Images from – Bath Rugby

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Chiefs fullback agrees new deal



Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens

Josh Hodge says he’s ‘over the moon’ to have agreed a new long-term deal with the Exeter Chiefs.

The gifted full-back has pledged his future to the Devon club and believes an exciting period lies ahead for him and everyone at Sandy Park.

Signed in the summer of 2020 from Gallagher Premiership rivals Newcastle Falcons, the 22-year-old has to date made 37 first-team appearances, scoring 39 points in all competitions.

He is seen by many, including Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, as one of the crown jewels in Exeter’s exciting vision for the future and news that he is staying put for the foreseeable future will be welcomed by everyone connected with the Chiefs.

“To be honest, it wasn’t a hard decision to sign a new contract with this fantastic club,” said Hodge. “Personally, I’m over the moon and I’m looking forward to my future here in the sunny county of Devon.

“There has been a lot of effort, good business decisions and hard work, both in training and on the pitch, to achieve the results the club has achieved in recent years.”

Alongside Hodge, the Chiefs are investing heavily in bringing through their next crop of young talent, such as Dafydd Jenkins, Christ Tshiunza, Marcus Street, Richard Capstick, Sam Maunder, Will Becconsall and Greg Fisilau to name but a few.

“I’m looking forward to working with the team to help the club attain its rightful position towards the top of all the competitions we take part in and justify the efforts of past players and trainers,” added Hodge.

“All the building blocks have been put in place by the board, backroom staff and coaches and it’s up to the team to work tirelessly to put the cherry on the cake and deliver the results the Chiefs and our fans deserve.”

Others within the current Chiefs ranks are expected to confirm they are also extending their stays with the club in the coming days and weeks.

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby

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