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Premiership

Wasps Confirm Young Departure

Wasps have announced that director of rugby Dai Young will be leaving his post

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Wasps have confirmed that director of rugby Dai Young will be stepping down from his position after almost nine years at the helm.

The Premiership club announced that Young believes that he has taken them as far as he can and that a new face should take them into the future. 

Since his arrival in 2011 Young has overseen a transformation at the club leading them from second-last in the table to three successive play-off place finishes between 2016 and 2018, including a Premiership final in 2017 which they narrowly lost. 

That season saw him pick up the competition’s director of the season award and speaking upon his departure Young admitted that he has fond memories of his time at Wasps. 

“I am extremely proud of my record during my time at Wasps and was extremely honoured to receive the Director of Rugby of the Season award in 2017. It was proper recognition of all we had achieved as a squad leading up to that season. I am very proud of the part I played in developing players who have gone on to play for their countries, like Club Captain Joe Launchbury. It will be tough to leave a club and group of people that has meant so much to me over the past decade, but I feel this is the right time for both the Club and for myself,” he said. 

As well as his domestic transformation of the club he also managed to get them to three Champions Cup quarter-finals. 

The 52-year-old went on to thank everyone involved for their help over almost a decade of work at the club and wished them the best for the future. 

“I would like to thank all the players, past and present, and the staff I have worked with, especially my heads of department who have become like family. I would also like to thank the Wasps fans who have been unbelievable in their support of me and the Club, particularly during the tougher times. Their loyalty and support have meant a great deal to all of us and has made my journey even more special. It has been a fantastic experience for myself and my family. My wife April and I look forward to following Wasps in the future and supporting Thomas as proud parents from the stands. Wasps has been a huge part of my life and I wish everyone at the Club the best of luck for the future,” he finished. 

Club chairman Derek Richardson thanked Young for his hard work over the nine years and says he will always be remembered for what he has done at Wasps. 

“I’d like to place my sincere thanks on record to Dai for his hard work and support over the years. He has done a tremendous job and, in particular, I’d like to thank him for his advice and help when I first became involved with the Club, and also his support for the move to Coventry in 2014. We have enjoyed some very special moments and they will always be remembered fondly. I’d like to wish Dai all the best in his future endeavours. He will always be considered a Wasps Legend and will always be welcome at The Ricoh,” he said. 

It isn’t confirmed yet as to what Young’s next job will be, but reports last week claimed that he has already been contacted about taking over at the Ospreys as the club look to bounce back from a terrible season to date. 

While in his absence Wasps have also confirmed that the structure they announced last week will continue with Lee Blackett continuing as Interim Head Coach as they try to figure out what lies ahead.

Premiership

Murphy leaves Leicester Tigers

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Leicester Tigers have today announced the departure of Geordan Murphy from his role as Director of Rugby at the club.

After discussions with Murphy about his current contract, which was due to end at the conclusion of the 2020/21 season, it was decided that it would not be renewed and, by mutual consent, it was agreed that Murphy would leave the club with immediate effect. 

Murphy joined Tigers as a teenager, making his senior debut in 1997, and went on to make 322 appearances in 16 seasons, including four years as club captain.

After retiring in 2013, having won eight Premiership and two European titles, Murphy moved into coaching and rose through the ranks as skills coach, backs coach, attack coach, head coach and director of rugby.

He is Leicester’s leading try-scorer and appearance holder in European rugby and is 17th on the club’s all-time tryscorers’ chart.

Speaking about his time at the club, the outgoing Director of Rugby said: “First, I want to thank my wife Aneka and my two boys, and our new addition on the way, for everything they have done for me and how they have continued to make me a better player, coach and person.

“As well as my family here in Leicester, and all of our friends, I want to thank my family and friends in Ireland for their support throughout my career at Tigers as a player and coach in the good and bad times.

“I have spent 23 great years at Leicester Tigers and forged great friendships with people throughout that entire period.

“I’m most proud of the respect I earned from my team-mates and colleagues, and I’m grateful to all of them for how they have helped me, supported me and shared in my time at this club.

“Winning has been the easy part. It is when things are not going well, when you are losing and having to get back up every day and put on a brave face, that you know who your friends are and, to all of those who supported me through those times, those are the friends I will have for life.

“I wish the club the very best for the future on and off the pitch, and say thank you to the supporters who have been a part of my life for more than 20 years.”

“His contribution of more than 23 years is unrivalled in the professional era and all of us had the privilege of watching Geordan play for Leicester Tigers before being afforded another privilege in working alongside such a passionate club man” Tigers Chairman, Peter Tom

Tigers Chairman Peter Tom thanked Murphy for his contribution to the club, on and off the pitch, since 1997.

“I want to express, on behalf of everybody at Leicester Tigers, my sincere gratitude to Geordan for all that he has done for our club for more than two decades,” said Tom.

“His contribution of more than 23 years is unrivalled in the professional era and all of us had the privilege of watching Geordan play for Leicester Tigers before being afforded another privilege in working alongside such a passionate club man. 

“I wish Geordan, his wife Aneka and their children all the best for what comes next and I know, when we are able to safely do so, we will afford him the proper send-off he deserves in front of all of our supporters at Welford Road.”

The club will not be recruiting to replace the Director of Rugby role but will now commence a recruitment process to identify candidates for a position in the organisation charged with overseeing the strategic vision and off-field responsibilities at Oval Park.

Tigers Chairman Tom added: “This decision, while difficult, was made to ensure we are as effective and successful an organisation as we can be at Leicester Tigers.

“Steve Borthwick understands the expectations of him, his coaching team and the playing group at Leicester Tigers on the pitch.

“We are determined to see this club back at the top, where supporters expect us to be, competing for trophies and are fully behind the players, coaches and staff on this journey.”

Statement from Leicester Tigers Ends.

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Premiership

Bristol trio sign permanent deals

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(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Niyi Adeolokun, Tom Kessell and Peter McCabe have signed one-year contracts with the Bears.

The trio, who joined on a short-term deals at the conclusion of the 2019/20 campaign, extend their stay at Ashton Gate ahead of the new season.

Scrum half Kessell (two appearances) and wing Adeolokun (four appearances) both featured in the Challenge Cup final, while prop McCabe made three appearances in the Gallagher Premiership, scoring his maiden try for the club against Wasps at the Ricoh Arena.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam said: “All three of these guys have settled into the Bears culture well and made some positive contributions on the field, so we’re pleased to have them on board for the 2020/21 campaign.

“With another busy schedule ahead of us, and players set to be away on international duty or undergoing rehabilitation at the beginning of the new season, it’s important to ensure we have plenty of depth and cover in key positions.”

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Premiership

Leicester Tigers halt all training due to COVID outbreak.

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Statement from Tigers.

Leicester Tigers have taken the decision to stop all team training and close the club’s Oval Park training ground facility following a COVID-19 outbreak within the camp.

The club returned several positive tests for COVID-19 earlier this week following the latest round of Premiership Rugby’s COVID-19 screening programme, including members of the playing group and support staff.

As well as those players and staff who have returned positive tests being isolated at home, several members of the squad and support staff were also instructed to isolate after being identified as close contacts.

The club is working closely with Public Health England and Premiership Rugby to ensure the protocols in place are being followed across all departments to reduce the risk of any further incidents.

Leicester Tigers takes its responsibility to maintain high standards extremely seriously at this time and is confident in the measures in place.

Additional testing will take place tomorrow (Friday, November 6) for all players and staff ahead of Monday’s weekly testing in line with Premiership Rugby guidelines.

All players will now continue their pre-season programme alone in their household bubbles while the Oval Park facility remains closed.

Health, wellbeing and safety are paramount and all players and staff are being monitored by Tigers medical staff, in addition to their families being offered support where necessary.

Tigers have made the decision to pause all training commitments and close the training ground in a bid to maintain the integrity of the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season, which commences for the club on Saturday, November 21, as well as honouring our responsibilities to the Leicestershire community.

Statement ends.

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