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

Props to the heroes of the front row

Figure image
We've always loved our props in Leicester. Perhaps it's something to do with favouriting the underdog, the guy out of the limelight, the players' player. Perhaps it's a reflection of the region, away from the bright shining lights of London and built on the hard work of its own people.

Whatever, The Tig was among the fans who were delighted to see such representation from the front row at the top table of this season’s Player of the Year awards at Welford Road on Tuesday.
Not only did Marcos Ayerza pick up the Outstanding Service award after almost 200 games in eight seasons since coming from amateur rugby in Argentina, but Boris – the alpha male of the Tigers group according to a programme interview with colleague Dan Bowden – was also shortlisted.
And, biggest and best of all, Logo Mulipola won Try of the Season despite seeing Niki Goneva clock up five nominations in the nine-strong shortlist.
Logo’s charge through, over and ultimately past the Exeter Chiefs defence is already a highlight of the season, possibly matched only by the big Samoan smile that followed.
Everyone loves to see a prop on the hoof, even more so if they’re on their way to the tryline. Remmeber Castro against London Irish at Welford Road (another Try of the Season winner), or in that Cup semi-final against Wasps in Cardiff?

Also, at Welford Road we love our props wherever they are on the pitch. The biggest pre-match cheer from the crowd is when the forwards emerge from the dressing room. Every week there is an enormous reception for front-row replacements – Marcos usually doffs a cap as he removes his headgear, Dan Cole and Julian White have been known to wave, and going back a few years the roof was lifted in acknowledgement of Graham Rowntree and Darren Garforth. The guys running on to replace them have a definite spring in their step, too, inspired by the backing of a crowd just wanting them to do their job in the dark areas of the game.
It was great to see a number of them gain accolades on Tuesday.
Niki’s consolation was that, as well as making the midfield break and pass that set up the Try of the Season, he was also named Supporters' Player of the Year. Richly deserved it was too, especially with the likes of Ed Slater, Tom Youngs, Jamie Gibson and Julian Salvi among the shortlisted names. Wouldn’t it be great of they could all finish the season with another shot at some more silverware?