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Team news: McGuigan captain against Worcester



Friday 23 September 2022

George McGuigan captains Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they make the Gallagher Premiership trip to Worcester Warriors.

The prolific hooker, who has scored three tries in his two games this season, forms part of a side which sees Callum Chick returning from injury.

Will Welch misses out due to illness, while Carl Fearns is absent with the knee injury picked up last weekend at Leicester Tigers. Connor Collett starts at open-side flanker after returning from the bench last time out, with Sean Robinson sliding back to blind-side in a move which sees Sebastian de Chaves recalled at lock.

Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti replaces Josh Barton at scrum-half, with the only other change seeing Mateo Carreras starting on the left wing in place of Nathan Earle – Carreras scoring at Leicester last weekend after a shoulder injury forced Earle’s departure.

On the bench there could a first outing of the season for fit-again prop Adam Brocklebank and full-back Tom Penny, with Newcastle aiming for a repeat of the 45-10 victory they enjoyed on their last visit to Worcester back in April

Head coach Dave Walder insists he and his squad are ignoring all the background noise around Worcester’s off-field situation, saying: “It’s been pretty straightforward from our side in the sense that the game has always been on, and that’s how we’ve approached it.

“The players are only human and will have seen the various bits and pieces floating around the media, but our messaging to them has been really consistent in terms of just preparing for the game as usual.

“There is the possibility as some pundits have mentioned about any points we might get from the game being scrubbed from the record if the situation escalates at Worcester, but as the head coach of Newcastle there’s nothing I can do about that. What will be will be in terms of whether or not the result stands, and of course nobody is taking anything for granted in terms of the outcome on Saturday.

“Worcester will come out fighting and we can’t worry about any of the stuff going on in the background, though of course we sympathise with all the staff down there who are getting put through the mill.

“We know they’ll be fired up for the game given everything that’s gone on, and any team with Steve Diamond in charge is going to be up for the physical challenge. We’ve got to be ready for that, control the things we can and approach it like any other game.”

Determined not to allow the off-field situation to affect matters on the pitch, Walder said: “I’d be lying if I said nobody has been talking about it and thinking about it, but in reality there’s not a lot we can do other than turn up, be professional and give a good account of ourselves.

“What happens after that, it happens, but as head coach of Newcastle I’m not involved in those decisions. If we get injuries we get injuries, but you’re more likely to get injured if you go into a game half-cocked.”

Asked about the wider situation, he added: “I’m not an expert on rugby finance so I can’t comment too much on what goes on at other clubs, but what I can say is we’ve always cut our cloth at Newcastle Falcons.

“Semore Kurdi is a great owner who has supported the club brilliantly, and makes good decisions on that side of things. We have a very strict budget which we stick to, and for the long-term good of the club that’s the way it has to be.

“I’ll admit it can be frustrating sometimes, but we know that that’s our budget and we have to stick to it. I’d love to go out and make a superstar signing, to upgrade certain facilities or what have you, but a lot of the time we can’t and I fully understand that.

“I believe we’ve got a great ethos about doing things the right way, building through our academy and promoting local talent, although yeah, I’ll admit it’s frustrating when you make an offer for a player but you get blown out of the water by clubs who then go on to experience financial difficulty.

“You just have to accept that at times you’re going to miss out on certain players, and when you hear the supposed figures they’ve gone for it can blow your mind.

“We’re lucky with Semore to have a fantastic owner who from day one always talked about the long-term sustainability of the club, and he’s consistently backed that up by his actions. I’ve obviously got a lot of sympathy for the staff and supporters of other clubs who are having tough times at the moment, but without knowing the ins and outs of what’s gone on I can’t really say any more than that.”

Saturday’s game is not on TV but is being streamed on PRTV Live.

Click here to buy your stream for £4.99.

Newcastle Falcons team v Worcester Warriors (Saturday, 3pm, Sixways Stadium)

15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 George Wacokecoke, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti; 1 Phil Brantingham, 2 George McGuigan (captain), 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Sean Robinson, 7 Connor Collett, Callum Chick.

Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 George Merrick, 20 Jamie Blamire, 21 Josh Barton, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Tom Penny.

Not available for selection: Luke Coulston, Matthew Dalton, Nathan Earle, Carl Fearns, Gary Graham, Ewan Greenlaw, Pete Lucock, Matias Moroni, Logovi’i Mulipola, Chidera Obonna, Matias Orlando, Guy Pepper, Vereimi Qorowale, Charlie Smith, Sam Stuart, Josh Thomas, Philip van der Walt, Will Welch, Michael Young.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Alex Hearle, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter (C), 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Gareth Simpson, 1 Murray McCallum, 2 Curtis Langdon, 3 Jay Tyack, 4 Joe Batley, 5 Andrew Kitchener, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 7 Cameron Neild, 8 Tom Dodd.

Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Jack Owlett, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Oli Morris, 23 Noah Heward.

Referee: Adam Leal.

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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