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Report | Tigers win pre-season opener at Jersey

Leicester Tigers gave the senior squad a first run-out of the summer in a 35-26 victory over Jersey Reds on Friday.

The game was hosted at the Championship club’s Stade Santander International at the end of the Tigers’ fourth visit to the Channel Islands, with a number of travelling supporters making themselves heard in a 1,500 crowd.

Steve Borthwick named a 30-man squad for the start of the pre-season programme – the second game is at home to Newcastle Falcons next Friday – including seven players who arrived at the club in the summer.

Olly Cracknell, Jimmy Gopperth, Phil Cokanasiga and Anthony Watson were all in the line-up for kick-off in the 5.00pm sunshine, with Joe Taufete'e, James Cronin and Lachlan Shelley among the replacements.

Jersey included two former Tigers Academy players in their ranks, with on-loan Jonny Law at scrum-half and Scotland age-group prop Sam Grahamslaw among the replacements.

A 50-metre charge from Harry Wells, picking up loose ball at the back of a lineout, set the position for the opening score as the Reds were penalised in bringing him to ground and the second-rower then claimed lineout ball for Charlie Clare to drive the maul over the line on 13 minutes. Freddie Burns added the conversion.

Dan Cole and George Martin led the defensive resistance close to their own tryline when the Reds built play through their forwards, but the hosts were eventually rewarded with a try for wing Ryan Hutler in the left-hand corner.

After Cokanasiga broke out of two tackles in attack on the right, fellow newcomer Cracknell got the first of two tries in a three-minute spell just after the half-hour mark.

The first was finished under a pile of bodies at a lineout drive, before pushing his way over next to the left-hand post for a double, both converted by Burns.

Cronin was then credited with the fourth try from another drive and Burns brought the half to a close with the successful kick for a 28-5 lead.

Both teams made changes at half-time, with Cameron Henderson among the six early replacements for Tigers, but Jersey claimed three tries, starting with a finish from replacement wing Ben Woollett.

Reds captain Lewis Wynne got the second, picking up to score from a breakdown before Bryce Hegarty, replacing Burns at 10 at the interval, followed an offload from Hanro Liebenberg to score and then covert the fifth try to make it 19-35.

But replacement James Hadfield ran in the final try for Jersey with 10 minutes remaining, Brendan Cope adding the conversion.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

JER 5-28 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

JER 26-35 LEI




Not available

Jersey Reds
Jersey Reds

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
Jersey Reds
Leicester Tigers


Final score is Jersey Reds 26 Leicester Tigers 35

Cope kicks the conversion for Jersey.

Ben Woollett attacks on the right and Reds replacement James Hadfield is in support to score.

Hegarty is back on his feet to add the conversion kick.

Bryce Hegarty races on to good work from Cronin and Liebenberg to score under the posts for Tigers.

Brendan Cope adds the conversion for the home team.

Reds skipper Lewis Wynne picks up and races through to score.

The conversion is a good one for the reds.

Bouncing ball is read by wing Ben Woollett who scores on the right.

HALF TIME and Tigers lead 28-5.

Freddie Burns kicks his fourth conversion as the half comes to a close with Tigers 28-5 in front.

James Cronin has the fourth try for Tigers, in possession from a lineout drive.

Burns puts over the conversion.

Olly Cracknell scores again, this time pushing over the line next to the left-hand post for the third Tigers try.

Freddie Burns adds the conversion despite the swirling wind across the posts.

Olly Cracknell is at the bottom of a pile of bodies to score for Tigers from a maul.

Jersey are over in the left-hand corner after pressure from the forwards.

Freddie Burns converts the opening score from Charlie Clare.

Charlie Clare scores the opening points with a try from a lineout drive.

The pre-season programme has started.

Team News | Tigers side for Pre-Season opener

Steve Borthwick has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad for the pre-season fixture against Jersey Reds.

Included in the 30-man squad are eight players who will make their first appearance for the club on Friday evening at Stade Santander International. 

Hanro Liebenberg leads the side for the first time since his appointment as club captain. 

The new skipper starts at No8, alongside George Martin and Olly Cracknell in the Leicester back-row.

Starting up front is Charlie Clare at hooker, with Francois van Wyk and Dan Cole as the starting props.

Harry Wells and Eli Snyman are the starting second-row.

Tom Cowan-Dickie, Joe Taufete'e, James Cronin, James Whitcombe, Will Hurd and Nephi Leatigaga are the replacement front-rowers, while Finn Carnduff, Cameron Henderson and Sean Jansen are the fellow forwards on the Tigers bench. 

Ben Youngs and Freddie Burns are the starting half-backs with Jimmy Gopperth and Phil Cokanasiga making up the Leicester midfield.

In the back-three, Anthony Watson makes his first club appearance at full-back alongside Nemani Nadolo and Harry Potter.

Sam Edwards, Bryce Hegarty, Matt Scott, Joe Browning, Kini Murimurivalu and Lachlan Shelley are the replacement backs.


15 Anthony Watson

14 Harry Potter

13 Phil Cokanasiga

12 Jimmy Gopperth

11 Nemani Nadolo

10 Freddie Burns

9 Ben Youngs

1 Francois van Wyk

2 Charlie Clare

3 Dan Cole

4 Harry Wells

5 Eli Snyman

6 George Martin

7 Olly Cracknell

8 Hanro Liebenberg (c)

REPLACEMENTS: Tom Cowan-Dickie, Joe Taufete’e, James Cronin, James Whitcombe, Will Hurd, Nephi Leatigaga, Cameron Henderson, Finn Carnduff, Sean Jansen, Sam Edwards, Bryce Hegarty, Matt Scott, Joe Browning, Kini Murimurivalu, Lachlan Shelley

Form Guide
Last Match
Lost to Leicester Tigers 26-35
Past Meeting
Lost 26-35
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Beat Newcastle Falcons 60-7
Past Meeting
Won 35-26

Matchday Live

Jersey Reds26
Jersey Reds
Leicester Tigers35
Leicester Tigers
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