Leicester Tigers have announced the arrival of three new players ahead of their 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership campaign.
Back rowers Hanro Leibenberg and Jordan Coghlan join from Super Rugby outfit the Bulls and Championship side Nottingham respectively. While EW Viljoen comes into the side from the Stormers.
23-year-old Leibenberg is able to play across the back row and has plenty of experience having represented the Bulls in the Currie Cup and also captaining the South African U20’s at the World Junior Championships.
The South African is delighted to be joining Leicester and is looking forward to life in the Premiership.
“The opportunity to play in the Premiership is one I am very excited about and to do it at a club of Leicester’s tradition and standing is a huge honour. The Tigers fans are well known around the world as some of the best in rugby and I am looking forward to playing at Welford Road in front of them, alongside my new team-mates,” he said.
Head coach Geordan Murphy noted the experience and leadership skills Leibenberg possesses despite his age.
“Hanro is an aggressive ball-carrier and a physical player around the field, in the best traditions of South African back-row players. He has gained a good level of experience already for a 23-year-old and has good leadership qualities too. His best years in the game should still be ahead of him and we look forward to welcoming him for next season,” he said.
Meanwhile fellow back rower Coghlan, who has spent time with both Leinster and Munster previously paid tribute to the club’s history when discussing his decision to move.
“This is Leicester Tigers – the most successful club in English history. For me, to be part of that is a huge honour. Geordan Murphy is working hard to build something special here and get Tigers back to the top of the Premiership, where they belong, and I’m happy to be a part of that. I’m just looking forward to getting stuck in,” he said.
Murphy is glad to have another experienced player on board and is looking forward to working with the 26-year-old Irishman.
“Jordan is a physical, athletic and experienced player who we are looking forward to welcoming into the club. His junior career speaks for itself and achievements in Ireland as a young man has served him well in his career. He is an exciting talent and he has earned his spot with impressive showings for Nottingham over recent seasons,” he said.
Viljoen, who has played Currie Cup rugby for the Western Province as well as also representing the Springboks at the U20’s Junior World Championships believes that there is nowhere better for him than Welford Road.
“The chance to represent a club like Leicester Tigers is one I could not pass up and I’m very excited about the challenge of playing in Premiership rugby. I want to play my role and make a contribution to getting Tigers back to where a club of their history and tradition belongs, which I believe Geordan Murphy is building towards. It’s an exciting chance to experience northern-hemisphere rugby and I can’t think of a better place to be able to do that than Welford Road,” he said.
Murphy is also excited to have the 24-year-old in his ranks and thinks that he will provide more depth in the squad.
“EW is a versatile, skilful and exciting player to have as part of our group. He has an impressive resumé for a young man and, at only 24, it’s encouraging to know he still has plenty of improvement left in him. He adds a lot to our outside-back stocks and provides valuable depth in the squad,” he said.
Leicester are looking to bounce-back next season following a poor showing in the Premiership last year which saw the, narrowly avoid relegation and with signings like these they can only improve.
Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors will not go ahead as planned
Following confirmation from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) that Worcester Warriors have been suspended from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Gloucester Rugby’s Round 3 fixture versus the Warriors – scheduled for Saturday 1 October – will not go ahead as had been planned.
The Club awaits further information as to whether the fixture is cancelled or postponed and will update supporters as soon as possible thereafter.
Our thoughts go to Worcester Warriors players, staff and supporters following the news of their suspension from the league. We hope to see them return to the Premiership again soon.
Open training this weekend
In absence of a fixture this weekend, Gloucester Rugby is opening the gates for supporters – regardless of whether they have a ticket to the Worcester fixture – to come and watch the first team train, followed by a signing session.
Attendance is free although supporters will need a ticket for entry – simply click here to get yours.
Gates will open at 12pm with the training session running from 12.30-2pm. Following the conclusion of open training, a signing session will take place pitch-side, while Saracens v Leicester Tigers, live on BT Sport from 3pm, will also be available on the screens in the Stowford Press Clubhouse.
Next up at Holm
Bristol Bears will visit Kingsholm on Saturday 15 October and it promises to be a game not to miss! Tickets are available now from just £25 for adults and £15 for children. Click here to purchase.
For any enquiries please email [email protected]
Worcester Warriors submit request for DCMS to appoint administrators
Worcester Warriors can confirm that WRFC Trading Limited, the company that owns the Worcester Warriors Premiership rugby club, has today asked DCMS to place the club into administration.
DCMS will now apply to the court to appoint administrators.
As negotiations with possible investors have still not led to critically-needed funding, administration is seen as the best solution to safeguard the interests of the business and ensure the best chances of a solution that saves the club.
It is hoped that this course of action will help to bring forward interested purchasers who may be able to preserve the club.
Once appointed, administrators will communicate with staff, supporters, partners, sponsors and creditors about timescales and processes to seek a purchaser.
Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham said: “We are grateful to DCMS and Sport England as the Covid19 loan Programme Manager for accepting our request to place the club into administration.
“Both the club and DCMS will continue to co-ordinate efforts to find a rescue for the club if there is any possibility of it being saved.
“The administrators will assess any rescue options for some or all of the business as and when offers are made, while ensuring public funds are protected.”
Images & Content from Worcester Warriors
RFU issue statement on Worcester future
RFU Statement: Worcester Warriors
The owners of Worcester Warriors have not met the RFU’s 5pm deadline to evidence insurance cover, availability of funds to meet the monthly payroll, and a credible plan to take the club forward.
The RFU has therefore suspended Worcester Warriors from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Allianz Premier 15s, U18s Academy Cup and Allianz Cup with immediate effect.
Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO said;
“We appreciate this is incredibly difficult news for fans, staff and players. We would like to thank the staff and players who have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to enable matches to continue.
“We met with players and staff last week to explain why this action would be necessary and regrettably without assurances in place we have had to take this action to protect everyone’s best interests.
“We hope a buyer can be secured to allow Worcester Warriors and The University of Worcester Warriors to return to professional league rugby. While it is the responsibility of each business owner to manage their individual finances, we will look at learnings from this situation to see what regulation can be put in place to provide all parties with more financial transparency. Rugby is a relatively young professional sport and it has been widely recognised that clubs have been facing financial challenges even before Covid.
“Successful professional leagues are vital for the wellbeing of the whole game. They inspire current and future players, delight fans by showcasing high skill levels and the exciting nature of our game. This is why it is so important that we continue to work with Premiership Rugby to improve the structure, governance and business model of rugby union in England.
“The RFU will continue to support community rugby in Worcester and is fully committed to ensuring local academy opportunities are provided for pathway players.”
The RFU will work with Premiership Rugby and DCMS to establish next steps for the club and what this will mean for the Gallagher Premiership, the men’s Academy and Allianz Premier 15s competitions.
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