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‘There is a brilliant buzz’: Rogerson on defence, clinical attack and current form



London Irish captain Matt Rogerson has relayed the “brilliant buzz” from within the Exiles’ camp at present, following on from a 25-10 victory over Bath Rugby.

Rogerson played a physical and crucial role in picking up four points for his team in his 73 minutes at the Recreation Ground on Saturday, Irish’s first win there since 2009.

Tries from half-back duo Paddy Jackson and Ben White, as well as Benhard Janse van Rensburg’s score, brought Irish ahead in the West Country for the headline win.

A determination to end Irish’s barren run away from home against Bath was a key energiser for Declan Kidney’s travelling party in Round 17 of the Gallagher Premiership, Rogerson explicated.

“We hadn’t won there in a long time, which was a big motivator for us going into the game,” he told.

“We wanted to come and get a result but we know how difficult a place it is to do that, so the me and the boys are very pleased.”

The Club skipper maintains that taking a lead into the break, despite it being just a two-point advantage at 12-10, played a prominent part in the psychology of both teams for the game’s remainder.

“We had to work very hard for that lead at half-time, Bath put an awful lot of pressure on us in our own 22 and we thought by half-time that we didn’t exit as well as we could.

“A couple of times we might have been able to put the ball out to the lads to relieve some pressure and allow them to bring it back to us, or we made some errors and they got the turnover from that.

“We did invite pressure onto ourselves, but equally we defended brilliantly to keep them out and score some points of our own.

“To go in at half-time with the lead would have taken the wind out of their sails a bit after they took the lead themselves, and it gave us confidence.”

With Bath players being sent to the sin bin on three occasions, those in Blue, Black and White were tasked with facing an onrushing Irish side looking to end their 14-year hoodoo at the Rec.

Rogerson explains the Exiles’ thought process in making sure their numerical advantage counted in the absence of two opposing players for Janse van Rensburg’s fourth try of the season on the hour.

“There was a lot of conversations going on between myself and the other leadership group; Rob Simmons at the lineout, Paddy [Jackson] moving the backline and we’re always talking about where the spaces are and where opportunities might open up.

“We look at areas where they might be a man short and we still played very tactically in terms of playing territory and not rushing things.

“Eventually avenues open up to exploit, and the boys worked really hard to drive us around the park to help us to a brilliant win.”

As a matchday regular this term, Rogerson went on to corroborate his coach Brad Davis’ recent evaluation of elevated standards throughout the squad this season.

“There’s been a brilliant buzz, and what I think is really amazing about our squad currently is that everyone is pushing each other.

“You can see that by how well we have done in the cup, lads aren’t playing in the Premiership week in, week out are playing brilliantly and putting their hands up for spaces in the Prem.

“It really lifts standards of all the boys playing in Prem, knowing we have to go out and win on the weekends to keep our place in the team.

“I think the competitive nature around the Club is really positive, the lads have been fantastic even if they have not been playing and have helped prep the boys well.

“They’re really buying into that, we’re building something really nice so we’ll keep chipping away and see where that takes us.”

Content & Images from – London Irish 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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