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Kalamafoni named top Premiership performer

Leicester Tigers No8 Sione Kalamafoni has topped the Gallagher Premiership’s stats for the most carries across 22 rounds of league action.

The 30-year-old carried the ball 290 times during the season, beating Sale’s Jono Ross (276) and Worcester full-back Chris Pennell (275).

And the Tongan international was equally busy in defence, with 273 tackles putting him equal third with Exeter’s Matt Kvesic in the league rankings, behind Ross (331) and Worcester forward Sam Lewis (294).

Kalamafoni started 24 of Leicester’s 32 first-team matches this season, missing three games through suspension after a red card in Round 16.

He also scored four tries in all competitions, with two coming on domestic duty.

Some of the back-rower’s Tigers team-mates are also included in the Premiership’s top performers as compiled by Opta Sports, with Dan Cole (221), Mike Williams (203) and Mike Fitzgerald (202) all included in the top 25 tacklers.

England and Leicester stand-off George Ford is ranked ninth for defenders beaten, with 57 across his 16 Premiership appearances this season, and is also the league’s top-performing fly-half for carries, with 179.

His points total of 221 is unbeaten by any other player in the competition.

Elsewhere, Jonny May’s 22 clean breaks confirm the winger’s reputation as a serious attacking threat – having just missed out on the top try-scoring total – while Guy Thompson (16) and Dan Cole (15) both make the top eight for turnovers won.

Forwards Graham Kitchener, Mike Williams and Mike Fitzgerald are named among the best set-piece operators, with 58, 55 and 46 lineouts won respectively.