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Team news: Jamie Blamire starts against Bath



Friday 4 November 2022

Jamie Blamire comes into Newcastle Falcons’ side for Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership visit of Bath Rugby, starting at hooker for the first time this season.

The 24-year-old started the first two games of the campaign in the back row but takes over the No.2 shirt from George McGuigan, who is named on the bench following his midweek release from England’s training squad.

Elliott Obatoyinbo starts at full-back after scoring in the Falcons’ Premiership Rugby Cup victory at Leicester Tigers last time out, while Michael Young captains the side from scrum-half.

Matthew Dalton continues in the second row having made his Premiership debut at Northampton three weeks ago, when Newcastle took a pair of bonus points from a dramatic 32-31 defeat.

That was followed by a bye weekend and then the cancellation of their away game at Wasps, head coach Dave Walder saying: “Not having a league game for three weeks is challenging from a preparation point of view, especially when it’s at short notice, and it forces you to think on your feet.

“The first week we knew about because that was our scheduled bye week, and you have plans in place with your conditioning coaches to manage the guys through that period. Having the Wasps game cancelled only a few days before has obviously forced us to change our plans a little bit, but every club is in the same boat and you just look to keep the boys as battle-hardened as you can even when they haven’t played for three weeks.”

Sean Robinson misses the 3pm kick-off after being retained by England, who face an Argentina squad including Mateo Carreras, Matias Orlando and Matias Moroni. Greg Peterson, meanwhile, is away in Dubai helping his USA side try to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023.

Saturday’s visit of Bath will be the 250th Premiership game to have been held at Kingston Park Stadium, with Walder having played in a significant number of those fixtures during his own playing days.

“It’s nice to reach that kind of milestone, and having appeared in a fair few of those I know how much of a factor it can be in our favour,” said the Falcons boss.

“There have been a lot of great games here over the years, we love the atmosphere that our fans create and we know it’s a ground that opposition teams don’t like coming to. It’s our home, we love it and we hope to be celebrating the 250th Premiership game here with another good win.”

Unperturbed by the absence of his international contingent, the former England fly-half added: “It’s great for us as a club having guys involved at international level, even if it does leave us a little bit thin in certain areas.

“You want your players to be operating at the top level because they will learn from being in that environment, and it helps get Newcastle Falcons’ name out there when people see our players representing their countries in major internationals.

“It’s an opportunity for the guys coming in to show us what they can do and drive that competition within the squad, and as much as I would want them to be here I’m delighted they will be playing for their countries.”

Up against a Bath side who recorded their first win of the season last time out against Northampton Saints, Walder said: “Bath have got a new coaching team so it takes a while for your ideas to bed in, as we’ve found ourselves to some degree.

“We’ve only actually had Mark Wilson as a new addition to our coaching group but a couple of guys have had a change in role, and we’ve brought in a reasonable amount of change to how we do certain things.

“Bath have also been closer in games than maybe some of their score-lines have suggested, and they’ve obviously had their win against Northampton in their last game. They’ve gone back to a simple game plan to build from the bottom up, they’ve got some really good players and it will be a good test.

“We’ve had games where we’re one bounce of the ball or a referee’s decision away from winning, but it is what it is and we’ll just continue working hard.

“We’ve identified as a group of coaches where we want to be and how we’re going to get there, and we’ve started along that road. We’re pleased with some of the performances, we just need to cut out those periods in games where we’ve not been at our best. If we can just hang in there, those tight moments will start to turn for us.”

Click here to buy tickets for Saturday’s game.

Click here to buy the PRTV live stream for £4.99 if you are unable to make it in person.

Newcastle Falcons team v Bath Rugby (Saturday, 3pm, Kingston Park Stadium)

15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Michael Young (captain); 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Richard Palframan, 4 Matthew Dalton, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Freddie Lockwood, 7 Connor Collett, 8 Callum Chick.

Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Phil Brantingham, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 George Merrick, 20 Guy Pepper, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Tom Penny.

Not available for selection: Mateo Carreras, Sam Clark, Trevor Davison, Carl Fearns, Gary Graham, Conor Kenny, Matias Moroni, Logovi’i Mulipola, Matias Orlando, Josh Peters, Greg Peterson, Sean Robinson, Oliver Spencer, Philip van der Walt, Will Welch.

Bath Rugby: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 George Worboys, 9 Max Green; 1 Valeriy Morozov, 2 Tom Dunn (captain), 3 D’Arcy Rae, 4 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Quinn Roux, 6 Ted Hill, 7 Miles Reid, 8 Richard de Carpentier.

Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Tom Ellis, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 Tom Carr-Smith, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Jonathan Joseph.

Referee: Hamish Smales.

Source – Newcastle Falcons 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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