Club-by-club guide: Leicester Tigers

Click to follow

Head Coach: Heyneke Meyer (below)

Captain: Martin Corry

IN

Toby Flood (Newcastle Falcons), Ben Woods (Newcastle Falcons), Craig Newby (Highlanders), Julien Dupuy (Biarritz)

OUT

Andy Goode (Brive), Matt Cornwell (Exeter Chiefs), Paul Burke (retired), Ian Humphreys (Ulster), Ollie Smith (Montpellier), Alex Moreno (Calvisano), Jim Hamilton (Edinburgh), Luke Abraham (Sale), Frank Murphy (Connacht), David Young (Gloucester)

First five games

Sep 6 Gloucester (A)

Sep 13 London Irish (H)

Sep 20 Worcester Warriors (A)

Sep 26 London Wasps (A)

Oct 1 Northampton Saints (H)

Lessons from last season

Having a dead man walking as coach for most of the season doesn’t do anyone any favours, and the Tigers nearly, unthinkably, missed out on the playoffs but for final day salvation. Their refusal to be beaten got them to Twickenham but they looked jaded in the final from both their on-field efforts and the off-field turmoil that ended with Marcelo Loffreda’s (right) dismissal after just seven months in the job. Instability isn’t a word often used about the Tigers, and they will want to see it crop up far less this term as they attempt to regain their crown as kings of England.

Strengths

With Heyneke Meyer in charge, the Tigers should play a similar style to his former side, the Bulls, basing their game around a dominant engine room in the pack and a fly-half with a hefty boot, in the shape of Derick Hougaard (left). It’s not exactly a million miles from the Leicester way and, after all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Weaknesses

The new player agreement, whilst bolstering the coffers of clubs providing the most England players, will see the Tigers lose 12 of their squad, the second highest total behind champions London Wasps.

Player to watch

Can you name your preferred locking combination for England? Neither can we, which is why this season represents a massive opportunity for the massive frame of Richard Blaze (above). The former Worcester, basketball-loving youngster could force his way into the reckoning under the guidance of a coach who reared the likes of Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha at the Bulls.

Did you know?

The Tigers’ match against Bath at Welford Road on September 5, 1931 was the first occasion that an entire Leicester team was lettered.

Prediction It may take a while for the new coach to get his feet under the table, but the Tigers look very strong.

1st

Comments