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Rugby News

Reaction: McKellar pleased with progress

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Dan McKellar believes progress is being made after a second successive win for his side to start the Premiership Rugby Cup season.

Leicester Tigers scored two tries in the four-point, 14-18, victory over Sale Sharks at Salford Stadium - a first win at the venue for the East Midlands club in more than five years.

Speaking after the match, the Tigers Head Coach said: "We defended really well for long periods tonight but, with that being said, we had to do too much of it."

"I thought we probably overplayed at times in our own half and, while we want to be playing more rugby, it has to be at the right times and right end of the field.

"But, it's our second game together and I am just really pleased to see a good transfer from what we have done in the summer on the training field to the games so far."


Asked about the first victory for Leicester at the venue since the 2017/18 season, McKellar wasn't getting ahead of himself but equally enjoyed seeing the run end.

"Winning any game away from home is always a challenge," he said.

"We have a lot of respect for Sale Sharks, who - like us - have a lot of quality to come back into their group in coming weeks.

"So we are not going to get too far ahead of ourselves. But, we will enjoy it as any win on the road is a good thing."


Handré Pollard's injection in the 51st minute meant he made his first appearance of the new campaign, and first in four months, for Leicester.

On the return of the South African, McKellar said: "It's nice to see him back on the field playing again for Leicester Tigers."

"He hasn't played since back in May and missed the semi-final here at the end of last season. He's worked hard to get back, is in good condition and it was pleasing to see him blow the cobwebs out."


Asked about whether he thought Pollard would be in line for a call up to the Springboks squad in France, he replied: "Handré is a world class player and world class players should be playing at World Cups."

"We are loving having him here but definitely hopeful he gets the chance, like all of our internationals, to get the privilege of being a part of a Rugby World Cup."

The match included a second score in as many weeks for Ollie Hassell-Collins and try on debut for Josh Bassett, which the Tigers Head Coach enjoyed seeing as a sign of the ever-improving strength in depth across his squad.

"I thought Ollie [Hassell-Collins] and Josh Bassett the same in his debut game for the club. It was great to see both score tonight," McKellar said.

"They weren't just run-ins, they had to be finished well ... it's great to have strength in depth in that back three.

"It's great to have strength in depth in all positions, which we are only building more and more."

Tigers host Ampthill in Round 3 of the Premiership Rugby Cup, next Sunday (September 24), at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.