Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Keep it in the family on opening day

Figure image
So now we know, it's Newcastle Falcons up first in the new season at Welford Road. Not only that, it's Tuilagi versus Tuilagi (and possibly Tuilagi)!

We all know games are about teams and not individuals, but the attraction of seeing rugby’s First Family in opposition at the home of the Tigers is getting there. What a way to kick off a new season.
Manu, one of the biggest names in British rugby, up against Alesana, one of the biggest frames in British rugby. Throw in another brother, Andy, and it could be an earth-shaking afternoon at Welford Road on September 6.
After two years in Japan, Alesana has been unveiled as a Dean Richards signing at Newcastle for 2014/15, and Andy has joined too as he resumes his Premiership Rugby career.
The Tig can remember the pair on opposite sides at Welford Road for a Tigers-Leeds game about six years ago, and now they’ll come face to face with ‘kid brother’ Manu on his home patch.
Manu, now a senior international and a Lions cap, is still a young man and fully acknowledges the debt he owes older brother Alesana in helping him settle into the first-team squad in his breakthrough season during 2010/11 and the older brother certainly looked thrilled by the experience in his final years as a Tigers player.
Coming up against family members can be a difficult experience in professional sport and it will be interesting to see how they handle it, especially as Alesana played a lot of his rugby in Japan as a centre, it is where Andy plays and, of course, where Tigers look for Manu to make his mark.
The Tig and the rest of the crowd will be hoping it is a day for open rugby which will allow all of the Tuilagi boys to see plenty of ball in open spaces and to be at their best. We’ll just make sure we don’t get caught anywhere near them when it comes to tackle time.