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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


RFU Statement on London Irish



The RFU Club Financial Viability Group has agreed to give London Irish a one-week extended deadline to meet the original conditions as set out below and pay the remaining May payroll to staff and players.

1) a takeover of the club has been completed and approved by the RFU, with the buyers undertaking to provide all required working capital to meet the club’s obligations as they fall due for at least season 2023/24; or

2) the club evidences that it will continue to be funded to operate throughout the 2023/24 season. If the club fails to meet these conditions it will be suspended from participating in the Premiership (and other competitions) in season 2023/24 to avoid a scenario where the club enters insolvency mid-season, with the corresponding and substantial impact that has on players, staff, and fans, as well as on the remainder of the league.

The extension, until Tuesday 6 June, has been given following consultation with staff and players who asked for the deadline to be extended to allow them to be paid 50% of their salaries.

Paula Carter, RFU Board Member and Chair of the Club Financial Viability Working Group said; “It is deeply frustrating for all the staff, players and fans that there have been multiple missed deadlines. 

“We are extremely disappointed that the club has so far only funded 50% of the staff and player wages, however, we have to respect the wishes of those most affected.

“The 4pm deadline on 6 June is final and we have added the stipulation that the club must also fulfil its contractual obligations to its employees by paying the May salaries in full.”

Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby

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Coenie Oosthuizen to leave Sale Sharks



Springbok Coenie swapping Sharks for Sharks

Prop Coenie Oosthuizen leaving Sale Sharks to join South African side Cell C Sharks

Sale Sharks can confirm that prop Coenie Oosthuizen will leave the club to return to South African side Cell C Sharks.

The 34-year-old Springbok, who can play on either side of the scrum, arrived in Manchester in May 2019 from the Durban-based Super Rugby side.

He’s gone on to make 94 appearances for Sale, including 16 this season as Alex Sanderson’s men reached their first Premiership final in 17 years.

Coenie made his debut for the Springboks in 2012 and has since won 30 international caps.

Sharks Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson said: “Since he arrived in Manchester, Coenie has been a massive part of this team and this club and everyone is going to miss him.

“On the field he’s a fantastic player but off it, he’s been a real leader for us in what is a young squad.”

Everyone at Sale Sharks would like to thank Coenie for his contribution to the club and the team during his time here and we wish him all the very best for the future.

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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Leicester Tigers 23/24 Coaching Team



Leicester Tigers can confirm the club’s senior coaching team ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Dan McKellar, who was announced as the club’s new Head Coach in February, will oversee the rugby programme and lead on the line out and forwards coaching.

Brett Deacon will lead on the breakdown and contact area, while also assisting McKellar with the forwards.

Deacon made 135 first-team appearances in two spells as a player with Tigers before joining the coaching staff upon retiring in 2015. After working with the club’s academy for two seasons, he joined the senior coaching team ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.

Matt Everard, who joined the club midway the 22/23 season as Senior Academy Coach before taking on a permanent senior role in December 2022, is the Defence Coach.

After representing Tigers, Wasps and Nottingham as a player, Everard moved into coaching with The Archers before returning to Wasps as Academy Coach and moved into the senior coaching team ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

Alan Dickens, Dan Palmer and Ollie Richardson are the additions to the club ahead of the new season.

Dickens will take charge of the Attack & Backs, Palmer is the Scrum Coach and Richardson joins as Head of Physical Performance.

Read more on the appointments of the trio here:

Matt Smith will be the Skills Coach for the senior squad and take on the newly-created Lead Academy Coach role which sees him responsible for the Senior Academy Squad and transition of players from junior to senior rugby.

Smith made 228 appearances for Tigers before coaching the club’s academy side after retiring from playing in 2019, and joined the senior coaching team ahead of the 20/21 season.

Speaking about his coaching team, incoming Leicester Tigers Head Coach Dan McKellar said: “I am excited by the group we have put together, which has a great balance of continuity and new voices who will bring fresh ideas.”

“It was important to me that there was a mix of people who not only understand the Premiership, but vital that they understand Leicester Tigers and we have got that in Brett Deacon, Matt Everard and Matt Smith, as well as the majority of our performance staff who remain with the club.

“In addition, to have Alan Dickens and Ollie Richardson’s knowledge of the English game, players and competitions we compete in is of great value, and Dan Palmer’s expertise is very exciting for the club moving forward.

“What is most pleasing for me is that this coaching team are excited by the squad we have to work with from next season at Leicester Tigers, because of where they are at currently and work they have done but, importantly, how it can evolve.”

Leicester Tigers 23/24 Coaching Team

  • Dan McKellar, Head Coach
  • Brett Deacon, Assistant Coach
  • Alan Dickens, Attack & Backs Coach
  • Matt Everard, Defence Coach
  • Dan Palmer, Scrum Coach
  • Ollie Richardson, Head of Physical Performance
  • Matt Smith, Skills Coach & Lead Academy Coach

The club can also confirm that Richard Wilks has been appointed General Manager.

Wilks joined Tigers during the 20/21 campaign as a consultant before being appointed Head of Performance Recruitment in November 2021.

Discussing the appointments, Leicester Tigers CEO Andrea Pinchen said: “I believe we have put together a world class coaching team, headed up by Dan McKellar, to lead Leicester Tigers from next season into this exciting new chapter of the club’s history”

“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to bring this impressive group who all offer their own unique skills, experience and knowledge from diverse backgrounds in the game.

“Most pleasing for me in this group is a shared desire to see this club continue to be successful but, even more so, strive to reach new heights together.

“After a turbulent year for all involved with Leicester Tigers, to be able to confirm our senior coaching team now is a great pleasure for me and I hope our supporters are as excited as I am about them leading this club into the future.”

The Leicester Tigers squad will commence pre-season training in July ahead of the 23/24 campaign.

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby

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