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Rugby News

Kalamafoni makes a big impact for Tigers

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Sione Kalamafoni has made a big impact, literally, in his first three Aviva Premiership games for Leicester Tigers, as the OPTA Rugby Rankings show.

Tigers back-rower Kalamafoni has made the second-highest number of tackles in the opening three rounds with 46, according to the competition’s official statisticians.

Only Lewis Ludlow (Gloucester) has made more, while Luke Hamilton is Tigers’ second top tackler with 32.

Kalamafoni made 13 tackles in the 24-10 win against former club Gloucester on Saturday, the third-highest by a Tigers player in the game. George Ford topped that particular stat with 16, followed by Matt Smith on 14.

Kalamafoni is also second across the league in the number of carries with 53 in the games against Bath, Northampton Saints and Gloucester. His Tigers and Tonga international team-mate Telusa Veainu is just behind with 52 carries.

Veainu made 21 carries against Gloucester, the most across the league for Round Three, with Kalamafoni making 20 carries.

Veainu made 109 metres in the game, the fifth-most over the weekend. It took him to a total of 335 metres so far for the campaign, the highest by any Aviva Premiership player in 2017/18.

Kalamafoni also features high on the number of offloads with the four against Gloucester taking him to joint-third on the list with a total of seven. He is behind only Will Addison (Sale Sharks) and Schalk Brits (Saracens). Jonny May has also made seven offloads with Ben Youngs on six.

Nick Malouf, who scored his first try in Tigers colours in the win on Saturday, has won three turnovers so far, putting him joint-fifth across the league.

Malouf, Smith, Harry Wells and Mike Williams won two turnovers each against the Cherry and Whites.