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Team news: Pumas pair back to face Exeter



Thursday 24 November 2022

Argentina internationals Mateo Carreras and Matias Moroni are among the returning stars for Newcastle Falcons on Friday when they host Exeter Chiefs in Gallagher Premiership action.

The Pumas pair are joined by USA lock Greg Peterson in coming back from their international commitments, with the Falcons looking to kick on from the 27-21 away win they achieved on their last league outing at Gloucester.

Brett Connon continues at fly-half after kicking five from five in the Kingsholm clash, Ben Stevenson starting on the right wing. Carl Fearns returns from a knee injury to start at No.8, with scrum-half Michael Young once again captaining the side.

Sean Robinson and Adam Radwan are among the replacements following their midweek release from England’s training squad, with Matias Orlando also on the bench having played a full 80 minutes for Argentina against Scotland last Saturday.

Newcastle Falcons and Exeter Chiefs’ last two Gallagher Premiership meetings have been decided by just a single point with one win for each club, and head coach Dave Walder expects a physical evening against the Devon outfit.

“Exeter have big ball-carriers, they’re very physical and they like to play with tempo right from the start,” said the Falcons boss.

“They try to put you under pressure when they’ve got the ball in hand, and their backs try to exploit the wide channels off the back of that. It’s a keep-ball style of game, a bit different to how a lot of other Premiership teams play, but it’s a method which has been very successful for them.

“They’re a different team from when we beat them at their place this time last year, they’ve got a new defence coach whose playing style is more aggressive and confrontational, and they’ve gone back to that line-speed which they’d moved away from over the past year or so. They set up slightly differently, but they’re a formidable team and we’re excited about taking them on.”

Keen to take the positives from their away victory over Gloucester, Walder added: “It was an important win for us, more for the confidence of the group than anything else.

“It gave the boys the belief that the things they’re doing every day are pointing us in the right direction, and the most pleasing thing was the attitude.

“Obviously you never want to see four of your players in the sin bin, but the way we ended up winning the game by digging in with 13 men against arguably the top mauling team in the country was really pleasing. It was a good way to win a game in testing circumstances, and as I say our attitude was the number-one thing.

“We had a big focus during the week with Micky Ward and Scott MacLeod in terms of how we were going to defend Gloucester’s maul, and we spent a lot of time on that.

“After the game people kept saying that was Gloucester’s second-string back line, but in fairness it was pretty much their first-choice pack. We were missing quite a few players of our own in the backs so it’s just one of those things, and it was pleasing to see a few things coming off that we’d worked on during the week.

“Mark Laycock had picked a couple of holes in their defence which we were able to exploit with our attacking strategy, and when we found ourselves under pressure we had the resilience to close out the game. We’re excited now about taking that momentum into the Exeter match on Friday, and they’re another big, heavy pack who take the game to you.

“They’ve got a style of rugby which they’ve been renowned for over the years, albeit they’ve tweaked it a little bit recently. They play a power-based game and look after the ball very well, they’ve got some big ball-carriers in their pack and some quick, powerful backs. They’re a good team overall, and it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.”

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Newcastle Falcons team v Exeter Chiefs (Friday, 7.45pm, Kingston Park Stadium)

15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Ben Stevenson, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Tom Penny, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Michael Young (captain); 1 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Richard Palframan, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Callum Chick, 7 Guy Pepper, 8 Carl Fearns.

Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Sean Robinson, 20 Freddie Lockwood, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Adam Radwan, 23 Matias Orlando.

Not available for selection: Phil Brantingham, Sam Clark, Connor Collett, Trevor Davison, Gary Graham, Louie Johnson, Conor Kenny, Pete Lucock, Oliver Spencer, Philip van der Walt, George Wacokecoke, Will Welch.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Dan John, 13 Sean O’Brien, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Jack Maunder; 1 Alec Hepburn, 2 Jack Yeandle (captain), 3 Harry Williams, 4 Ruben Van Heerden, 5 Dafydd Jenkins, 6 Lewis Pearson, 7 Christ Tshiunza, 8 Jacques Vermeulen.

Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Patrick Schickerling, 19 Jack Dunne, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Will Becconsall, 23 Solomone Kata.

Referee: Karl Dickson.

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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