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Rugby News

Positive start to pre-season programme

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Head coach Matt O’Connor says the pre-season run-out against the Ospreys on Friday provided a positive end to a training week in Wales for the Leicester Tigers squad.

“For a first hit-out of the summer and considering the in conditions, I thought it was a pretty god quality contest,” O’Connor said after Tigers secured a 21-14 victory over their hosts in a fixture played in heavy rain at the home of Bridgend RFC.

“I think we answered as few questions about some of the new guys in the squad and I’m sure Ospreys did the same.

“We’ve worked really hard in pre-season and it was a pleasing start. We managed the conditions really well, we played in the right areas and we took our chances.

“You have to play the conditions and understand a lot of games will be played like that in the season.

“A lot of guys played a decent number of minutes, there were no injuries and it was a positive end to a really good week for us.”

Tom Croft led the Tigers in a game watched by a 3,000-plus crowd at the Brewery Field, with O’Connor using more than 25 players over the course of the 80 minutes. The rest of the senior squad watched from the stands as the visitors claimed tries from Jonah Holmes, Harry Thacker and Loughborough Students hooker Jake Kerr.

“We’ll introduce some more of the blokes against Treviso in the next game and give the whole squad a run during the pre-season,” added O’Connor. “There are a lot of positions up for grabs and lot of guys put their hands up. That is what we are going to have to have.”

Tigers host Italian visitors Treviso on Friday evening (August 18, 7.45pm) and then have a final pre-season run-put with a return fixture against the Ospreys at Welford Road on Friday, August 25 (7.45pm) before the Aviva Premiership season opener with Bath Rugby on home turf on Sunday, September 3.

Tickets for the pre-season games and the opening fixtures in the league season are available from the Tigers ticket office now. Book in person at Welford Road, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2)(the office is open 9.00am-5.00pm Monday- Saturday) or book online any time.