Well it's been ages since I last posted something. And after reading what I wrote before, i was just regurgitating information. So here's the start of an actual blog that has my opinion.
Tigers have announced today the signing of 28 year old former Tigers scrum half James Grindal from Newcastle. After thinking about this since lunch I think it is a smart move from RC. Grindal knows about the Leicester ethos from his time with the club as a youngster. As backup he is a good signing, although nowhere near Dupuy’s class.
Ben Young’s will have to step up to the plate again this season. He has the makings to be a world class scrum half. Watching him in the junior World Cup he always plays with his head up and is not afraid to tap and go from anywhere in the field. His pace is one of his strongest assists and is improving all the time.
My only concern is that when Dupuy was playing last year he made sure it was quick ball from the rucks all the time; this is what allowed Tigers to play the expansive rugby we saw at the end of the season. When Harry came on the ball was always a lot slower, and watching him on the Lions tour it is clear that he does not get the ball out as quick as JD. But I’m sure come September Harry will be back to the player we all know he can be.
The future is bright for the Tigers, and I expect Ben Youngs to be Tigers starting scrum half by the end of the season. It’s a bold thing to say, but he does all the basics well and his pace gives him that little but extra, whereas Ellis has lost that extra yard of pace.
It’s been a long time since I have posted something, so sorry to avid readers of this blog. With Tigers sitting 2nd in the GP and have strung four wins on the trot, it looks like they are going to peak at just the right time for the play offs.
England have finally kicked into 1st gear against a French side that did not look at the races for most of the game.
Tom Croft has finally been given the chance to show why he should have been starting in every game of the 6 Nations. It was clear for everyone to see that when this back row forward gassed the whole New Zealand Maori team on the wing to win England Saxons the Churchill Cup back in 2007. He is the second fastest player in the Tiger’s squad and is sure to be a star of the future.
Leicester have started scoring a lot of tries in recent weeks and from the looks of it the best is yet to come. Once all the international players are back and Martin Corry is back from his ban, you would be a foolish man to write off Tigers in the Heineken Cup and the Guinness Premiership.
In what could be Leicester Tigers biggest game of the season so far, it is fair to say that it will be the battle of the tens which will interest the rugby world. At £30,000 per game Dan Carter should make his debut for Perpignan against the Tigers in round four of the Heineken Cup.
Toby Flood is three years younger than Carter and has played most his career at inside centre. Since moving to the Tigers Flood has been placed at fly half and has shown moments of brilliance. Flood has a great boot on him and distributes the ball well. He is currently the Heineken Cups top points scorer in this year’s competition.
Dan Carter is classed by many as the best fly half in the world and will cause the Tigers problems at the weekend. Although one player does not make a team, this special player will give all his team mates a boost and if the Tigers give penalties away in their own half he has the boot to punish them severely.
Come 4pm Sunday all eyes from the rugby world will be on these two teams. Tigers will have to go to France and come away with a win. They do not want to leave it till the last game to go to the Liberty Stadium and come away with a win, like against Muster two years ago.
Leicester Tigers got back to winning ways in style with a 38-27 win over Perpignan.
The visitors came to Welford Road with intent and did not make it easy for the home side. But tries from Toby Flood, Jordan Crane, Aaron Mauger and Matt Smith made sure of the four try bonus point.
Tigers win sets up an epic battle against the French side next Sunday when Dan Carter makes his first start for his new team.
Harry Ellis had to pull out from the starting line up on Saturday after failing a fitness test before the match. I think it would be nice to see the English half back reunited on Sunday but Dupuy did not put a foot wrong.
If Tigers win at the weekend it will end Perpignan’s chances of progressing into the quarter finals.
Tigers lost 27 -13 to Sale on Friday night which means they have dropped to sixth in the table. Leicester went with a very strong team to Edgeley Park and I thought the Tigers might have been able to come away with a win.
This week sees the return of the players who have featured in the autumn internationals. This weekend is the third round of the Heineken Cup and Dan Carter’s Perpignan come to visit Welford Road. This is a must win for the Tigers as come week six the group could be very tight. Especially as Ospreys contains many of the players from the Wales team.
Dan Carter will not feature in the game at Welford Road this weekend, but he will make his first start for Perpignan next weekend in round 4.
I think Tigers need to get back to winning ways and that we really need to go all out for the bonus point win. As the last game of the group stages is away at the Liberty Stadium against Ospreys.
In what could be one of the biggest games of the season Tigers have brought back a few big guns to face Sale on Friday night. The return of Seru Rabeni, Geordan Murphy, Marcos Ayerza and Jordan Crane gives the Tigers sterength all around the park. This game is a must win as Sale are only one point behind in 5th place.
This team should be more than capable of picking up a win on friday night and I expect the tigers to take the points.
Geordan Murphy, Johne Murphy, Seru Rabeni, Aaron Mauger, Matt Smith, Derick Hougaard, Julien Dupuy, Marcos Ayerza, George Chuter, Julian White, Martin Corry (c),Ben Kay, Brett Deacon, Lewis Moody, Jordan Crane
Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Dan Cole, Marco Wentzel, Craig Newby, Ben Youngs, Tom Varndell, Scott Hamilton
After two weeks on the bench Toby Flood is starting at 10 against New Zealand, which will arguably be England’s toughest test of the autumn series. Martin Johnson has made three changes from the team who lost 42-6 against South Africa. Danny Cipriani and Tom Rees have been dropped to the bench, while Tom Palmer is injured. This makes way for Toby Flood, Michael Lipman and Nick Kennedy to show the England manager what they can do.
Toby Flood has been playing well at ten for the Tigers in the Guinness Premiership and will now have to show he can perform on the big stage. For Johnson’s England this is make or break time.
Cipriani has not stepped up in the last two games and I am pleased that Johnno has given Flood the opportunity, Also Danny Hipkiss has been recalled to the England bench after playing so well against Quins last Saturday.
I think Cipriani has been rushed back from injury far too soon and England were looking for the saviour of English rugby. The truth is these things take time and England are in a time of rebuilding. It is good to see three of Tigers players on the England bench. Croft, Ellis and Hipkiss will all be waiting to come on and play their part.
The main word of the weekend’s game will be PRIDE. A lot of pride was lost against South Africa and these young England players need to put in performances that they showed to get them into the England squad in the first place.
England are playing the best team on paper in the world, so for me to say an England win would be very optimistic. All I hope is that England put in a good performance. The battle between Flood and Carter is going to be interesting as they meet at Welford Road on the 6th December when Carter makes his first appearance for his new club Perpignan.
England team: D Armitage, P Sackey, J Noon, R Flutey, U Monye, T Flood, D Care, T Payne, L Mears, P Vickery, S Borthwick (capt), N Kennedy, J Haskell, M Lipman, N Easter
Replacements: D Hartley, M Stevens, T Croft, T Rees, H Ellis, D Cipriani, D Hipkiss