Cole: Tigers are willing to take on new ideas now

DAN COLE made his England debut when Steve Borthwick was the captain and admits he did not detect the coaching potential in the man who is now his boss at Premiership leaders Leicester.Cole is in his 14th season at Welford Road and the prop has experienced the highs and lows, being part of title-winning teams but also flirting with relegation before Borthwick, below, joined from England eight months after the World Cup final against South Africa.Leicester were struggling when Borthwick arrived and he has since admitted he did not realise just how far they had fallen, but they go …

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The post Cole: Tigers are willing to take on new ideas now appeared first on The Rugby Paper.

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Feel for Borthwick, but inquiry is right

WHEN it was revealed Saracens had broken the salary cap and were to be relegated to the Championship two years ago, it shocked the rugby world.However, there was a feeling of it can’t just be them with other teams spending big on star players. So I was not overly surprised when I saw that Leicester were being investigated over historical image rights payments.I do feel for Tigers director of rugby Steve Borthwick and his players. As Sale boss Alex Sanderson said this week, Borthwick may get punished for the acts of predecessors.However, after the way Saracens were treated,…

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Ankle trouble will see Faletau miss start of the Six Nations

Working hard: FaletauDEFENDING champions Wales look set to start the Six Nations without topchoice No.8 Taulupe Faletau.The triple British & Irish Lions tourist hasn’t played since returning from South Africa in the summer and is still undergoing rehab on his damaged ankle.Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper, whose side have yet to win in the Premiership or Europe this season, is desperate to get the 31-year-old back in action, but still doesn’t know when that will be.It means Wales head coach Wayne Pivac is unlikely to be able to call on his most experience ba…

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A poker face, but Boyd can cut loose!

By PAUL REES

AS Northampton blew an early 21-7 lead against Harlequins at Twickenham last week, returning home without even a losing bonus point, the TV camera regularly honed in on the impassive figure of the club’s director of rugby, Chris Boyd.There was no tablethumping from the New Zealander any more than there had been eruptions of euphoria when his side were picking apart the champions. It was impossible to tell from his expression whether his side was winning or sinning.“He is not emotional, he is process driven,” said Northampton captain Lewis Ludlam. …

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Hastings eyes big finish after patient start

By PAUL REES

PREVIEW…Gloucester v HarlequinsToday. Kick-off 3pm, KingsholmSettled: Adam HastingsADAM Hastings has noticed a difference since joining Gloucester from Glasgow in the summer – he has not had to wear a balaclava in training.The Scotland outsidehalf spent three years with Bath before joining Glasgow in 2017 and his arrival at Kingsholm has coincided with the club mounting only their second Premiership title assault since reaching the 2011 play-offs.They started this round of matches in fourth place, one position and one point below today’s opponents, cha…

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Ryan hopes derby integrity remains

DRAGONS director of rugby Dean Ryan hopes the “integrity of derby games will remain” as league organisers face the challenge of rescheduling.Three of four URC Welsh festive derbies have been postponed, along with those in Scotland and Ireland. Ryan hopes they will be rescheduled outside the Six Nations window.Ryan said: “There are available weekends outside the Six Nations. We’re all aware that we’re running out of them, but if there is a weighting applied I hope that weighting would go in favour of the derbies… we all know how important they …

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Amor gets a big job with Japan 7s

FORMER England men’s 15s assistant coach Simon Amor has been appointed technical director of Japan Sevens.Japan disappointed at their home Olympics in Tokyo in July/August in both the men’s and women’s tournaments and aim to be in much better shape by the time the next Olympics comes around in Paris in 2024.The Japan men’s team finished second from bottom with only a win against South Korea to their name, while the women were winless and placed last.Amor has an almost unrivalled CV in Sevens, as a player and coach, and Japan believe tapping into his kn…

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Saracens flanker Reffell to join Ulster

IRISH-QUALIFIED flanker Sean Reffell will join Ulster in the summer from Saracens.The 23-year-old former England U20 international was named Sarries’ young player of the season for 2020-21 having been named academy player of the year the season before.The back row holds the club record for most tackles in a single match, making 39 against Worcester Warriors in a Premiership Cup semifinal win.Prop Gareth Milasinovich has gone the other way, joining Saracens on a short-term loan deal.Meanwhile, Ulster scrum-half John Cooney and full-back Will Addison have become the latest p…

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It’s great start to New Year

STUART HOGG was delighted to celebrate his decision to stay at Exeter with a man-ofthe match performance.“The smile on my face today tells the whole story,” he said. “I love it here at Exeter and I want to learn and get better every day and hopefully I’m doing exactly that.“Bristol didn’t allow us to kick on, that was down to their pressure and good play but we regrouped and actually we are chuffed to bits with that one. It’s a good way to start the new year.“We were determined to come out and give a proper Chiefs performanc…

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