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Team news: Qorowale to make Falcons debut at Leicester



Thursday 25 August 2022

Newcastle Falcons have named their team for Friday night’s pre-season opener away to Gallagher Premiership champions Leicester Tigers, with summer signings Vereimi Qorowale and Josh Peters making starting debuts.

The 7pm kick-off at Mattioli Woods Welford Road sees the Falcons going with a 31-man squad – their other pre-season friendly being the trip to Doncaster Knights on Friday September 2 before the Premiership campaign starts at home to Harlequins on Saturday September 10.

Qorowale (pictured) starts on the right wing after joining from the British Army, with lock-forward Peters having made the move from Doncaster. Three further new arrivals are named among the replacements, which include scrum-half Josh Barton (Coventry), fly-half Josh Thomas (Ospreys) and lock Sebastian de Chaves (Austin Gilgronis).

Head coach Dave Walder, who is now in charge of first-team affairs, said: “We want to test ourselves against as good an opposition as we can, and Leicester away is about as tough as it gets.

“A lot of it is about game time, getting that first hit-out and checking where things are, and then the following Friday away to Doncaster will be another good test against a club who have Premiership ambitions. We feel like we’re in a good place with the work we’ve put in, and we have two important tests now to make sure we’re ready for Quins at home on September 10.

“Friday at Leicester is the first proper chance we’ll have to check our game understanding under real pressure.

“We obviously work hard in training but ultimately you’re running your own attack against your own defence, and people can get into habits. Friday is an opportunity to put that under some more pressure and see what further improvements we can make going into the Harlequins game two weeks on Saturday.”

Walder and his squad have spent most of the week in Yorkshire at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, building on a summer of hard work.

“Camp has been really useful for us and we’ve got a lot of good work done during that time,” he said.

“It’s great to get the squad together, and as well as the training and meetings it’s about spending time together off the pitch. You get a better understanding of their learning and where they are, although to be fair this season we’ve been spending more time together with some of the changes we’ve put in place, like having a team room at Kingston Park.

“It’s nice to see players in a different environment, getting to know each other a little more broadly away from rugby, and there’s a good harmony in the group.

“Even for the coaching and backroom team, we’re used to seeing each other all day at work where we’re eating, breathing and sleeping rugby, but you come away to camp and unwind together as well. The coaches are unbeaten on the pool table – we’ve been dominating the physios and other staff all week – and it’s just those little relationships that help tighten the group.”

Despite naming a 31-man squad the Falcons are without a host of players due to injuries, suspension and international call-ups, with Walder explaining a number of the absentees.

He said: “Connor Collett is out with a hamstring injury until around late September or early October having recovered from a shoulder operation, Sam Stuart is around the same timeframe after having surgery on his foot, Adam Brocklebank has had bicep surgery, Philip van der Walt did his ACL at the end of last season, Chidera Obonna is in a boot after rolling his ankle and Tom Penny is out with a hamstring.”

Friday’s game will be live-streamed free of charge by Leicester Tigers, although registration is required by clicking here. A link will be emailed out by Leicester on Friday at 5pm for those who have registered.

Newcastle Falcons team to face Leicester Tigers (Friday, 7pm, Mattioli Woods Welford Road):

15 Alex Tait, 14 Vereimi Qorowale, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Zach Kerr, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Michael Young; 1 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 Charlie Maddison, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 George Merrick, 5 Josh Peters, 6 Gary Graham, 7 Will Welch (captain), 8 Tom Marshall.

Replacements: 1 Phil Brantingham, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Conor Kenny, 4 Matthew Dalton, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Matt Deehan, 7 Marcus Tiffen, 8 Carl Fearns, 9 Josh Barton, 9 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 10 Josh Thomas, 11 Nathan Earle, 12 Ewan Greenlaw, 13 George Wacokecoke, 14 Adam Radwan, 15 Iwan Stephens.

Referee: Hamish Smales.

Not available for selection: Jamie Blamire, Adam Brocklebank, Mateo Carreras, Callum Chick, Connor Collett, Trevor Davison, Louie Johnson, Matias Moroni, Chidera Obonna, Matias Orlando, Tom Penny, Guy Pepper, Sean Robinson, Tian Schoeman, Sam Stuart, Philip van der Walt.

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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