Tigers make it back-to-back wins with away triumph over Gloucester

Gloucester 20-38 Leicester Tigers

Mark Farmer | Chief Sports Reporter | 25 November 2023

LEICESTER’S VICTORY at Kingsholm makes it their seventh in a row over Gloucester in a fixture named the Slater Cup, to honour of the former Gloucester and Tigers player Ed Slater, who was forced to retire last year after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Ollie Hassell-Collins scored two of Tigers’ four tries at Kingsholm (Image: Getty)

In typical fashion it was Handre Pollard who put Tigers ahead with a close range penalty before Gloucester fly-half George Barton, who could only slot two of his five first-half attempts, put the home side in front.

The final 10 minutes of the opening half would have no doubt pleased Tigers head coach Dan McKellar as Pollard restored the lead with two penalties closely followed by a converted Ollie Hassell-Collins try to establish an eight-point cushion going into the interval.

The arrears would soon be reduced from eight to one after the break as ex-Tigers hooker George McGuigan went over following a rolling maul.

Not to be outdone by his opposite number, Julian Montoya touched down for Leicester to allow Pollard to add the buffer, the try coming as both teams had a player in the bin with Barton and Ollie Chessum each ordered to serve 10 minutes off the pitch.

Hassell-Collins’ second try of the match, and fifth of the season, came minutes after Gloucester back row Jack Clement was shown a yellow card for the third game running before front row replacement Jamal Ford-Robinson registered a five-point score of his own despite the visitors carrying a man advantage.

Tigers went into today’s visit to Kingsholm as the only Premiership team not to claim a try bonus point this season, something Tongan international Solomone Kata ensured would not continue with a score in the final play of the game.

The commanding victory sees Leicester jump two places from ninth in the table.


Gloucester: Carreras, Rees-Zammit, Harris, Atkinson, Thorley, Barton, Young; Vivas, McGuigan, Balmain, Clarke, Alemanno, Thomas, Ludlow (c), Clement

Replacements: Socino, Elrington, Ford-Robinson, Clark, Donnell, Chapman, Atkinson, Hillman-Cooper

Leicester: Steward, Bassett, Scott, Kelly, Hassell-Collins, Pollard, B Youngs; Cronin, Montoya, Heyes, Henderson, Chessum, Liebenberg (c), Reffell, Wiese

Replacements: Clare, Whitcombe, Cole, Wells, Rogerson, Whiteley, Shillcock, Kata

Tigers secure Derby Day win in clash with Northampton Saints

Leicester Tigers 26-17 Northampton Saints

Mark Farmer | Chief Sports Reporter | 18 November 2023

IN A first half-half littered with handling errors from both teams, it was Springbok Handre Pollard’s right boot that would provide a platform for Tigers to edge out visitors Northampton.

Fly-half Handre Pollard lines up a kick at goal (Image: Leicester Tigers)

Double World Cup winner Pollard put Tigers ahead after three minutes, following an off-side infringement incurred from George Furbank’s knock on.

An excellent kick to touch from just inside his own 10-metre line shortly after allowed Tigers’ foward pack to drive over from five metres out, however, Charlie’s Clare’s try was disallowed by TMO Hamish Smales for what appeared to be a harsh call against Leicester for obstruction.

Fin Smith – an England fly-half in waiting – levelled proceedings midway through the first-half with a shot at goal from a couple of metres inside the Leicester half.

Pollard restored Tigers’ three-point lead with a penalty as the rain began to sweep across the Mattioli Woods Welford Road pitch, and then extended the advantage to six with another shot at goal in line with the posts from halfway to send the home side into the interval ahead at 9-3.

Leicester’s attacking onslaught from the resumption would see them eventually come away with a try after a number of attacking phases set up replacement loosehead prop Francois van Wyk go over with Saints picking up two yellow cards either side of the score with Sam Matavesi and Ethan Waller punished for multiple penalties.

Northampton’s 13 men hit back immediately as fullback Furbank joined the attacking line and forced his way over for their first try of the game.

Tigers survived a scare a couple of minutes later as Northampton’s outside centre Tommy Freeman dived over the line before referee Karl Dickson spotted the faintest of knock ons from Henry Pollock to bring the game back for a Leicester scrum five metres out.

Captain Hanro Liebengerg would ensure Tigers claimed a second win this season, and their first at home this Premiership campaign, denying Saints any chance of a losing bonus point with a try seven minutes from time following a quick tap penalty.

It was a score that meant Matavesi’s try for the visitor’s with the clock in the red would serve as nothing more than a consolation.

The result sees Leicester climb to eighth in the table, one place above next week’s opponent Gloucester at Kingsholm.

Attendance: 23,076


Leicester: Steward, Bassett, Porter, Kata, Hassell-Collins, Pollard, B Youngs; Cronin, Clare, Heyes, Henderson, Chessum, Liebenberg (c), Reffell, Wiese

Replacements: Vanes, van Wyk, Cole, Carter, Rogerson, Whiteley, Shillcock, Scott

Northampton: Furbank, Hendy, Freeman, Dingwall, Ramm, Smith, Mitchell; Waller, Langdon, Davison, Moon, Munga, Coles, Pearson, Ludlam (c)

Replacements: Matavesi, Waller, Millar Mills, Lockett, Pollock, James, Hutchinson, Sleightholme

Tigers slip to fourth defeat in five at hands of visiting Harlequins

Mark Farmer | Chief Sports Reporter | 11 November 2023

Leicester’s miserable run to the start of the Premiership season has continued with a narrow four-point defeat at home to league leaders Harlequins despite a starting team bolstered with returning World Cup stars.

Second row Cameron Henderson carries the ball for Tigers (Image: Leicester Tigers)

In a captivating nip and tuck match in which neither side could establish dominance, seven tries were scored in front of a 20,000-strong Mattioli Woods Welford Road crowd.

The defeat leaves Tigers sitting in an unenviable ninth in the Gallagher Premiership, just one place above the foot of the table.

Tigers’ defence was tested from the off as Harlequins went through the attacking phases early on following a lineout thrown over the top of the forwards and into the rapidly advancing Jack van Poortvliet, forcing Tigers to be penned back in their own 22.

‘Quins retained possession well and recycled the ball quickly before finding Tyrone Green on the right wing, who while avoiding being forced in to touch, offloaded the ball superbly infield behind his back to keep the attack alive.

It was a stage of play that would ultimately see Tigers fall behind as Harlequins’ captain Alex Dombrandt powered his way over the tryline for the opening score inside three minutes, however fly-half Marcus Smith, often deployed in an unfamiliar position of full-back by former Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick at the World Cup in France, could only find the outside of the post with his conversion attempt.

South African World Cup winner Handre Pollard would reduce the deficit and put Leicester on the scoreboard with a simple penalty goal just minutes later.

Italian-capped flanker Dino Lamb, man of the match today, would help himself to a couple of tries for Harlequins.

The first to extend the visitor’s first-half lead at the quarter of an hour mark before Hanro Liebenberg led from the front as the Tigers captain showed an excellent pair of hands to open the home side’s try scoring account in the corner of the in goal area.

England star Freddie Steward scored the first of his double just after half an hour of play, leisurely falling over the tryline with ball in hand completely unopposed after an attacking scrum in front of the posts saw the ball worked out to his wing.

Tyrone Green would deny Tigers a half-time lead however as the winger impressively collected a pass on Tigers’ 22-metre line and diving into the corner, evading a last ditch tackle in the process.

Steward doubled his tally for the afternoon just six minutes after the interval to re-establish Tigers’ lead before Pollard converted brilliantly from the touchline right through the middle of the posts.

Scrum-half Will Porter would also find himself among the away team’s tryscorers after picking the ball from the base of a ruck and throwing a dummy pass to create enough space for himself to pounce through Tigers’ defensive line.

Tigers again reclaimed the lead as Pollard slotted a penalty straight in front of the sticks from just outside the Harlequins 22-metre line.

It was a crucial score that put Leicester ahead by a single point, something the South African is accustomed to as the Springboks won all of their knockout stage matches including the final by the same margin at the World Cup, with less than 15 minutes to play.

However, it would be Warwickshire-born Lamb that would slaughter Tigers’ hopes this afternoon.

With just 10 minutes left to play, the five-cap Italian international produced the game-winning try to ensure Harlequins return to London taking a bonus point victory with them.

Full-time: Leicester Tigers 25-29 Harlequins (HT 15-17).

Attendance: 20,433


Leicester Tigers

15 Brown

14 Steward

13 Kelly

12 Kata

11 Bassett

10 Pollard

9 B Youngs

1 van Wyk

2 Clare

3 Cole

4 Henderson

5 Chessum

6 Liebenberg (C)

7 Rogerson

8 Wiese


16 Vanes

17 Cronin (van Wyk 53)

18 Hurd (Cole 53)

19 Carter (Henderson 72)

20 Ilione (Rogerson 62)

21 Whiteley (B Youngs 79)

22 Atkinson

23 Scott (Kata 61)


15 David

14 Green

13 Beard

12 Anyanwu

11 Lynagh

10 Smith

9 Porter

1 Marler

2 Riley

3 Collier

4 Launchbury

5 Hammond

6 Lamb

7 Evans

8 Dombrandt (C)


16 Walker (Riley 50)

17 Baxter (Marler 56)

18 Lewis (Collier 65)

19 Herbst

20 Chisholm (Lamb 75)

21 Care (Porter 56)

22 J Evans

23 Esterhuizen

Borthwick names England squad for Six Nations opener featuring six Leicester players

Mark Farmer | Chief Sports Reporter | 2 February 2023

Former Leicester Tigers coach Steve Borthwick has this afternoon announced his 23-man England squad for the eagerly anticipated Calcutta Cup clash at home to Scotland on Saturday.

Former Tigers coach Steve Borthwick, pictured centre (Image: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Unsurprisingly, the Tigers connection will be strong at Twickenham as the newly appointed England head coach has selected six Leicester players in the match day squad for his first game in charge.

Backs Freddie Steward and Jack van Poortvliet start for the Roses alongside second row Ollie Chessum, while vastly experienced prop Dan Cole, just five short of a century of international caps, and Ben Youngs, England’s all-time appearance maker, will form part of the replacements with winger Anthony Watson.

Former Tigers players Ellis Genge, captain during his time at Welford Road, has also been given a starting place at loosehead prop, while centre, Manu Tuilagi, has been left out altogether.

Borthwick and his men will be hoping to kickstart their Six Nations campaign with a win at the weekend, following a dismal display last year which saw England pick up just two victories in the tournament.

A factor which no doubt contributed to the decision to relieve former coach Eddie Jones of his duty less than 12 months before the start of the Rugby World Cup.

England match day squad in full:

15 Freddie Steward
14 Max Malins
13 Joe Marchant
12 Owen Farrell
11 Ollie Hassell-Collins
10 Marcus Smith
9 Jack van Poortvliet

1 Ellis Genge
2 Jamie George
3 Kyle Sinckler
4 Maro Itoje
5 Ollie Chessum
6 Lewis Ludlam
7 Ben Curry
8 Alex Dombrandt


16 Jack Walker
17 Mako Vunipola
18 Dan Cole
19 Nick Isiekwe
20 Ben Earl
21 Ben Youngs
22 Ollie Lawrence
23 Anthony Watson