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Coaches field questions from fans at Open Forum

Hundreds of supporters packed out the 1880 Suite at Welford Road on Tuesday evening to put questions to Tigers’ coaching team at the latest Open Forum.

Head coach Geordan Murphy was joined by defence coach Phil Blake, forwards coach Mark Bakewell, assistant coach Ant Allen, senior development coach Brett Deacon and scrum coach Boris Stankovich to discuss topics as diverse as recruitment, referees, and opportunities for the second half of the Premiership season.

Other subjects included;

  • an insight into recruitment for next season;
  • promoting young talent;
  • Tigers players’ form for their international sides;
  • the salary cap and prospect of ring-fencing the Premiership;
  • and turning Welford Road into a ‘fortress’.

Murphy said: “It’s been a tough start to the year, I think we’re all in agreement. Obviously we had a slight rollercoaster at the top end of the season, we had some good results, but then ultimately we put in a couple of really poor performances.

“We’ve reset our game, but we’ve had to try and iron out our game and implement some improvements to our game as the season has gone on. From that point of view we have been working really, really hard.

“I think everyone appreciates we’re not where we want to be, but I do definitely see a lot of positives in our game and I’m very excited for the second half of the year.

Across two hours of frank and honest discussion, other points raised included player welfare and injuries, lineouts, and supporters’ thoughts on holding Premiership Shield fixtures at Loughborough University.

The coaching team also offered their views on training with experienced players versus younger talent, with particular praise for Tigers’ latest international in Scottish hooker Jake Kerr.

Murphy spoke about the importance of the next block of Gallagher Premiership fixtures, which includes home matches against Wasps on Saturday, March 2 (3.00pm) and Northampton Saints (Friday, March 22, 7.45pm).

Members of the Tigers Supporters' Forum meet six times a season at Welford Road with senior club staff members to discuss all aspects of the running of their club.