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Rugby News

Borthwick keen to see cohesion grow

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Steve Borthwick was pleased with ‘plenty’ from Friday night’s pre-season victory but says elements of the performance need to be ‘better’ from his side as the new league campaign fast approaches.

Leicester Tigers supporters at Mattioli Woods Welford Road saw their side score six tries in the first outing at home in eleven weeks, which resulted in a 42-28 win over Newcastle Falcons.

Reviewing the game, Borthwick said: “There is plenty to be pleased about from the performance and also elements that we need to be doing a lot better.”

“We had a lot of time in the opposition half, especially in the first half, but made too many errors.

“Errors can be corrected pretty quickly and I am confident we can be much better than we were on Friday night.

“Ultimately, the scoreboard is not what we would be judging Friday evening’s fixture on. We are judging ourselves based on what we set out to achieve tonight and the progress we are trying to make.”

Borthwick named a 32-man squad for the pre-season match, which included several players making their first appearances at Mattioli Woods Welford Road as Tigers.

After playing their first games for Leicester in Jersey, Phil Cokanasiga, James Cronin, Jimmy Gopperth, Joe Taufete’e and Anthony Watson made their first home appearance, while Tom Horton and Jed Walsh came on as replacements for their first-ever appearance in a Tigers shirt.

“We had several guys make their first appearance at Mattioli Woods Welford Road as Tigers players, including some making their first appearance ever for the club,” he said.

“Those players we have had join the group over the summer have been brilliant since arriving.

“They have all added their own, unique experiences and abilities to the squad. It is a real positive for the club to have added the individuals we have to this team.”

Away from Friday’s fixture, the Tigers Head Coach said the main focus for the group during the remaining pre-season weeks was ‘cohesion’ as he and his coaches look to mould the new-look Leicester squad.

“Right now, we’re searching for that cohesion,” said Borthwick.

“We have those new players and have not welcomed back everybody as yet from international rugby, as well as only having had some back for a week.

“I am pleased with the work we have put in during the pre-season so far and the effort of everybody in the squad. But, we are still building and focused on moving forward as a group.”