Northampton Saints sign Jamie Gibson from Leicester Tigers

Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Northampton Saints have announced the signing of flanker Jamie Gibson from fierce East Midlands rivals the Leicester Tigers for the new season.

The 24 year old, who was a part of the England squad for their summer tour of 2012 without being handed a cap, is one of the most promising players on the fringes of the England team and his signing for the new season means the Jimmies will go into the 2015/16 even stronger.

Gibson started his career with the London Irish before making the move to their domestic rivals the Leicester Tigers in 2013 and has already played over 80 games for the record Premiership champions.

Jim Mallinder, the Director of Rugby at the Northampton Saints said that the player has displayed his calibre at clubs like the London Irish, the Tigers and also with the representative teams of England and it is clear that he has a big future ahead of him.

The Saints boss also said that he is absolutely thrilled that the player has selected his side as his next destination. He mentioned that back row is one of the pivotal areas of the team and although they have some top quality players already in that area, he is sure a player of Jamie Gibson’s class will be able to supplement them with ease.

According to Jim Mallinder, although Gibson has played a lot of games throughout his career, especially with the Leicester Tigers, he is still relatively young and he believes he can go on and improve even more as a player.

Gibson has played for the England team across varying age levels and has also turned out for the England Saxons senior side in a match against the Barbarians in his breakthrough season of 2012.

Toulon Win Against The Tigers

Toulon took their revenge by defeating the Tigers as they were defeated at the Leicester. In the starting quarter Toulon showed an intensity which was unmatchable. The victory was comprehensive for his team. There was fury amongst the crowd as well in the first quarter. Soon Toulon was up with 16-0. Courage was shown by Toulon in the game against the Tigers. Second half Leicester showed some momentum but they were obviously no match against Toulon.

So it was after all defeat for the Tigers. Toulon did whatever he could to make it to the pool table. Going by the side of Leicester there is no such great individual who can get the title of being on the spotlight. Some or the other player lack sheer class from the opponent. Owen Williams did nothing for his team. Many teams have suffered defeat under the hand of Toulon but what was lacking was physical power which they were totally overpowered by. They were in no position to break them down in any possible manner. For Leicester back foot rugby is not easy at all which they showed while playing. The power given by Toulon was high energy. Leicester has so far managed to gain 10 wins in the past at France.

There were mistakes which were made by the team. It was not like Leicester did not get opportunity rather they failed to convert it to win. They let it slip easily. As far as converting the wins were concerned the Toulon did it effectively. They almost converted all their tries to winning moments and will be proud of the fact that they overpowered the Tigers. Leicester has a lot to consider and think about before they continue with their next game. They have to respond to challenges in the initial stages.

Leicester Injury-Hit Team Doesn’t Want Sympathy: Winger

Amidst huge discussions about the devastating form of injury hit Leicester Tigers, the squad winger Benjamin (Miles) has stated that they are looking for anything but sympathy.
In one of his recent interviews, the Tigers winger remarked that they aren’t having any sorry feel for their injuries post the bad defeat to the London Irish club lately.
Miles had his initial stint with Leicester since Heineken Cup 8 months back in Treviso. He himself had been down with a serious knee injury. The winger’s absence from Tigers is counted as one among the well-documented and critical injuries which have again decimated the club’s ranks on the onset of Aviva Premiership this year. Benjamin had stressed that Leicester’s issues are same to that of many other clubs across the country & the team just needs to get on.
“Yes, we are down with some injury issues but we are not feeling sorry for it for ourselves”, said the 26-year-old winger. “We aren’t the sole squad with injury problems – that is how this game is moving on. Each team co0mes up with huge squads today & even you are bugged by series of injuries, one still needs to try & achieve results whilst he is passing through it.”
With wingers such as Scott Hamilton, Niall Morris & Gonzalo Camacho on long-term injury roster, Benjamin is the most probable choice for winger for Leicester’s upcoming match against Gloucester. As Cherry and Whites are struggling with their form as well, Kingsholm doesn’t seem to be the right place for weak-hearted.
“They’ve struggled on travels but quite a different team while at home”, Benjamin noted while speaking about Cherry and Whites. “….especially when a team such Leicester are playing there. We would be all geared up well for the upcoming trip.”

England Rugby team shaping up under Stuart Lancaster

The England Rugby Team looks complete and organized ahead of their campaign this year. A number of players have come up through the Rugby Union that focuses on encouraging the domestic players and provide them enough opportunities to prove their worth.
The England Rugby Team head coach Stuart Lancaster has announced a fifty five man squad which will be eligible for training. It includes the Saracens flanker Jackson Wray who was prolific in the concluding season and is being seriously considered for the QBE International Series starting from November this year. Tom Croft – the Leicester flanker will be joining him even though he had an injury afflicted season. Anthony Allen, Alex Corbisiero, George Ford, Mako Vunipola and Christian Wade also return to the squad after missing out on the tryst with New Zealand due to their injuries. Henry Slade is the other young player in the squad who had recently featured in the non cap game against the Barbarians from South Africa at Twickenham in the month of May.
The head coach shall be allowed more opportunities to select his thirty two man short listed squad in order to include more players based on their forms in the season. This has been ensured due to an agreement signed by the Rugby Football Union with the Premiership clubs which has delayed the naming process from August to October. England Rugby Team captain Chris Robshaw believes that his experience as the captain of the Harlequins will prove handy ahead of his preparations with the English squad in a similar role. However the plans of the national team was a little bit disturbed as the Toulon back-row forward Steffon Armitage is set to turn his back on his former side in order to represent France on the world stage. The fans are looking forward to some impressive performances.

South Africa and Argentina look to outdo each other in Rugby Championship

South Africa has been one of the dominant forces in men’s rugby along with Australia and the most powerful New Zealand side. They will be looking to impress one and all as they go up against Argentina in the Rugby Championship clash that is coming up within a few days time. Heyneke Meyer is the coach of the Springbok team which will be up against the Pumas. He has already announced his team ahead of the clash and the new player who will be making his debut is Damian De Allende. He will be strengthening the centre along with the team’s captain Jean De Villiers. Francs Malherbe and Eben Etzebeth will also feature in the starting lineup. They had missed a few matches owing to injury but are now fit to put up some good performances. Handre Pollard will be earning his second cap after he broke into the team due to some stellar performances with the Under 20 squad.
The Pumas have been able to defeat the Springboks only once in their seventeen encounters over the years. They will clearly have to play out of their skins in order to register another victory for the team. They will be going into the match quite well prepared from the practice matches against the French side. But so will the Springboks as they had some extra time to prepare owing to their early exit from the Super Rugby Championship. Bakkies Botha will be a constant threat to the Pumas du eto his all round abilities. The South African coach is banking on his new blood whereas the Argentines will look to benefit from their experienced players. It is tipped to be an exciting encounter as both the teams will be ready to prove a point to the fans in their respective countries.

Goneva signs extension with Leicester Tigers

Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Leicester Tigers have announced that centre Vereniki Goneva has put pen to paper to a new contract with the club.

Goneva, a former Fijian international player, joined the reigning Premiership champions in the summer of 2012 and in his 37 appearances for the club, has scored 17 tries and the 30 year old was also named as the Premiership Player of the Month for February this year.

The 30 year old was drawing the attention of several big name clubs from around Europe, including French Top 14 side Castres but with this new deal, the Fijian has put speculation regarding his future to bed and has committed himself to the Tigers side coached by Richard Cockerill.
Speaking on the official website of the club after the Leicester Tigers announced his extension; Goneva stated that he is very happy to remain at the club for the foreseeable future.

He went on to add that the club, its playing squad, the fans as well as the coaching staff have all been great to him since he moved here and he has signed the new deal because he feels comfortable in the environment around the club.

Richard Cockerill, the Director of Rugby of the club, stated that the player has become one of the key cogs in the Leicester side in recent seasons. He added that the 30 year old has been playing perhaps the best rugby of his career and he thinks that the environment around the Leicester Tigers will help him develop his career further.

The Fijian has earned 29 caps for his country and joined the club after spending three years in France with Tarbes. The club, however, has not commented on the length of the new contract that the player has signed.

Injury strikes again as Bowden ruled out

It seems that the injury curse for the reigning Aviva Premiership champions the Leicester Tigers is showing no sign of letting up after Dan Bowden was forced to have his appendix removed while he was enjoying some time off in New Zealand.

The 27 year old has been in sparkling form for the reigning champions this season and was the standout performer for the club in wins against the Newcastle Falcons as well as the London Irish. But he will now have to be sidelined for the next two to three games after the surgery and will also not be able to return to England as he has been advised ten days’ rest and asked not to fly.
In a season which has seen Richard Cockerill, the Director of Rugby of the club juggle with one of the biggest injury crises the club has ever known, this latest news doesn’t surprise him that much and he doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry at his plight.

The Leicester Tigers boss stated that he had a new baby and went off to New Zealand for his sister’s wedding and to show off his newborn and there he got a tummy ache and he has not seen him since.

Cockerill stated that he has been to hospital and has the appendix taken out but has been advised not to fly for at least ten days which means he will have to sit out for the next fortnight of the Leicester Tigers game at least.
The Tigers boss also mentioned that even when his players are not playing, there is still something wrong with them and knowing Dan Bowden, he could bring back the appendix back in a jar just to show off.

Cockerill however, stated that Manu Tuilagi and Ant Allen will be back for the club.

Tigers suffer another injury blow

Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club and the reigning champions the Leicester Tigers have not been having the best of times over the last few months on the injury front and things haven’t been any better with the turn of the year as well.

The club has now been hit with yet another massive injury blow with Dan Bowden sidelined for up to twelve weeks. Bowden has suffered a number of fractures on his cheekbones as well as eye socket and is expected to sit on the sidelines till the end of February.

According to reports, end February is the earliest he can return to training let alone playing in a competitive game. The Tigers have suffered several injury blow throughout the season and has been fielding a depleted side almost every time but the Leicester Tigers will have the luxury to call on the services of Anthony Allen, who has been passed fit to return to action.

Richard Cockerill, the Director of Rugby of the club stated that the injury to Bowden is a severe blow for the club at a crucial time of the season for the club but he is also happy to see Allen back in action that had been out for the last three months. Allen was suffering from compartment syndrome and has now finally been given the green light to return to the first team fold.

According to the Leicester Tigers boss, he is bitterly disappointed both for the player as well as the club because he was in scintillating form. He added that the bad luck is just not showing any signs of receding.

But he is also pleased with the return of Allen, adding that sometimes, that is how things shape up as one can lose something and get back something else.

Parling out with shoulder injury

Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club and the reigning champions the Leicester Tigers have been dealt a huge blow with news emerging that lock Geoff Parling will be out of action for quite some time due to an injury on his damaged shoulder.

The club has already been hit by several injury blows in the last few weeks and the news of this latest injury for one of the mainstay of their team will, no doubt, emerge as a huge problem for the Premiership holders. Parling damaged his shoulder while on duty for the national team against New Zealand a week back and with the surgery being done, it is expected that the British and Irish Lions player might miss England’s Six Nations campaign as well.

According to the doctors at the club and those with the national team that assessed the player after the surgery, the Leicester Tigers lock will be out of action for at least the next three months, and this will be a huge blow to the plans of England boss Stuart Lancaster ahead of the Six Nations.

The Tigers are already without the services of Manu Tuilagi, Ed Slater, Mat Tait, Tom Croft and Ant Allen and with this latest injury crisis, they are in severe danger of going their fourth successive match in the Aviva Premiership without a win for the first time in the last ten years.

The Leicester Tigers host the London Irish this weekend and following back to back defeats against Harlequins FC and the London Wasps and a draw against the Northampton Saints, the Tigers are in dire need of a win with their last victory coming in September.

However, Richard Cockerill, the Director of Rugby at the club stated that the injuries are obviously an issue but it isn’t an excuse as well.

Home talent key to Leicester Tigers success

Sam Harrison, the scrum half for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club and the defending champions the Leicester Tigers, believes that the club’s strong core of home grown talent will be influential as the club hunts for more success in the future.

The 23 year old is among one of those players that came through the club’s famed academy and is a player who was born and brought up in the county and Harrison definitely knows what he is talking about.

But there are plenty of other players who were not born in Leicestershire coming through the club’s academy, The Tigers are lucky to be blessed with a whole host of quality players who hold a special affinity to the Welford Road club. Harrison made 21 appearances for the club last term as they marched onto the title and hopes his association with the Leicester Tigers will continue for years to come after putting pen to paper on a new contract at the end of the season.

He stated that he is thankful that he has never had to be in a situation where he has had to think about switching to another club. He went on to add that he has always enjoyed how he has been treated at the club and moreover, it is his home club and playing the game he loves for his hometown club adds to his enjoyment even more.

He added that it means a lot to him to be able to play for the club he supported as a child and the feeling hasn’t changed in spite of playing for the club for the past few seasons now. He mentioned that it is a feeling of pride the local players feel playing for the Leicester Tigers and it inspires them to give a lot more to the cause.