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Rugby News

All-rounder Tait slots into Tigers backline

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Matt O’Connor says Mathew Tait is unique in his ability to slot in and make a contribution across the Leicester Tigers backline.

A veteran of 38 England caps and a World Cup Final appearance in 2007, the 31-year-old Tait has made more than 125 appearances for Tigers since his debut in 2011, mainly at full-back but also at centre and wing.

“There are not many blokes in the game who can cover at 12, 13, wing and full-back, and know the detail of each position,” said head coach O’Connor.

Tait wore the No12 shirt in the win at his former club Newcastle Falcons on Sunday, teaming up in midfield with Matt Smith who was making his 150th starting appearance for the club.

“Taity’s knowledge of the game is great,” added O’Connor, a former centre himself. “He has a lot of experience at a high level, his skillset is great and the lads have a lot of confidence in him.

“He distributes ball well, he’s a fantastic communicator and a good foil for the other guys in there. There is a lot of detail to get through to play in those positions.

“He’s an important player for us with guys like Manu and Matt Toomua unavailable and he’s slotted in right across the backline for us.”