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Team News | Tigers side to play Clermont in France



Richard Wigglesworth has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad to play ASM Clermont Auvergne in Round 3 of the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup pool stages.

Ben Youngs captains the side in his 74th Heineken Champions Cup appearance for Tigers, equalling Geordan Murphy as the club’s most-capped player in Europe’s top-tier.

Ollie Chessum and Freddie Steward are named as vice-captains for the first time ahead of the European match at Stade Marcel-Michelin.

In a new-look front-row, Charlie Clare is the hooker and James Whitcombe and Joe Heyes the starting props.

Harry Wells and Cameron Henderson are partnered in the second-row, while Chessum, Tommy Reffell and Sean Jansen make up the starting back-row.

Jansen’s selection at No.8 will be 23-year-old’s first starting appearance in Europe for Tigers.

Handré Pollard will make his first appearance in the Heineken Champions Cup for Tigers alongside Youngs as the starting half-backs and, in the midfield, Dan Kelly and Matt Scott are the centre-pairing.

The fixture will be the 21-year-old Kelly’s 50th appearance for Leicester Tigers.

In the back-three, Harry Simmons starts on the wing for a second successive weekend while Freddie Steward shifts from full-back to the other wing and Charlie Atkinson, in his first European appearance for Tigers, starts in the No.15 shirt.

Joe Taufete’e, James Cronin and Will Hurd are the replacement front-rowers.

Olly Cracknell is in line for a return to action after being included on the bench alongside fellow back-rower Emeka Ilione on the Tigers bench.

Jack van Poortvliet, Jimmy Gopperth and Harry Potter are the replacement backs.

Taufete’e and Gopperth – if used – will make their first appearances in the Heineken Champions Cup for Tigers and Ilione, a week after his Gallagher Premiership debut, is in line for his European debut.

15 Charlie Atkinson [8]
14 Freddie Steward (vc) [65]
13 Matt Scott [55]
12 Dan Kelly [49]
11 Harry Simmons [27]
10 Handré Pollard [2]
9 Ben Youngs (c) [292]
1 James Whitcombe [32]
2 Charlie Clare [66]
3 Joe Heyes [112]
4 Harry Wells [169]
5 Cameron Henderson [25]
6 Ollie Chessum [41]
7 Tommy Reffell (vc) [89]
8 Sean Jansen [13]

16 Joe Taufete’e [4]
17 James Cronin [9]
18 Will Hurd [16]
19 Olly Cracknell [12]
20 Emeka Ilione [7]
21 Jack van Poortvliet [58]
22 Jimmy Gopperth [7]
23 Harry Potter [54]

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby





Sale Sharks have agreed a deal to sign Fiji captain Waisea Nayacalevu from French Top14 side Toulon. 

The explosive centre, who starred for his country during the recent World Cup, has signed a one-year contract with an option for a further year. 

He will join up with Alex Sanderson’s Sharks squad ahead of the start of the 2024/25 Gallagher Premiership season. 

Waisea, 33, said: “I’ve watched the Premiership for a long time and it’s always been in the back of my mind that I would love to play there one day and experience rugby in England. 

“Now that opportunity has arrived and I’m really, really happy and grateful. I’m so excited to get over there and join the boys and see how I can contribute to the team. 

“I have spoken to Telusa Veainu and he only has positive things to say about the club and about Manchester. 

“I’m looking forward to playing with some of the guys I’ve played against, like Tom Curry and George Ford. But I also know there are a lot of really talented young players in the Sale Sharks squad and I’m excited to share my experience and help them develop as much as I can.  

“I told Alex that it’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years of my career and it’s something I’m passionate about.” 

Nayacalevu, who stands at 6’4” and weighs in at 16st 7lb, spent ten years at Top14 side Stade Français before making the switch to Toulon in 2022.  

He has won 34 caps for Fiji, slotting in at both centre and on the wing, and captained his country at last year’s World Cup, where the Pacific Islanders made the quarter-finals, losing 30-24 to England in Marseille. 

He also famously scored for Fiji in their memorable pre-World Cup win against England at Twickenham. 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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Falcons star to join Saracens



Phil Brantingham to join Saracens

Tuesday 05 March 2024 Written by: Tom Grisedale

Prop-forward Phil Brantingham will leave Newcastle Falcons in the summer to join Saracens.

The 22-year-old has played 25 games for his home town club, and leaves with the thanks and best wishes of everyone at the Falcons.

Chairman of rugby Matt Thompson said: “Phil has done well for us and we made him a good offer to stay here.

“We respect his decision and wish him all the best for his move in the summer, but between now and then he will be fully committed to finishing the season strongly for Newcastle Falcons.”

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby

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Sale Sharks can confirm that forward Cobus Wiese will leave the club at the end of the season to return to South Africa. 

The 26-year-old lock has played almost 80 games for the club and scored five tries since joining from the DHL Stormers ahead of the 2020/21 season. 

He played a key role last year as Sale reached the Premiership final, and this season he has featured a further 13 times for Alex Sanderson’s side. 

Alex said: “Cobus will be missed by all of us on so many levels. He’s the most polite and courteous of people off the field, but the most wildly excitable man on the field, and on a night out. 

“To say Cobus wears his heart on his sleeve is to do him a disservice with regards to his emotional commitment for which his body has paid the price on occasion.  

“He leads by example and has earnt the respect and adoration of the group both on a professional and a personal level. We wish him every success and happiness with his move back home.” 

Everyone at Sale Sharks would like to thank Cobus 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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