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

So excited and we just can't hide it

Figure image
The coaches and players probably think otherwise, but for us fans there is always plenty to get excited about in pre-season.

When Tigers kicked off the summer programme at the Ospreys last Friday evening, the ‘excitement scale’ included the new-old kit, Tom Youngs running out as club captain, a couple of new signings, a few young prospects, and seeing Manu back on the field.
The retro style of the home has been well received, with a welcome return to white shorts and the traditional black socks. It was first worn at the Premiership Sevens, though Tigers were not in the tournament long enough to get a decent look.
Youngs led, as he always does, from the front and scored the first try of the summer before making way at half-time as Tigers set what must be a record in giving four hookers gametime in one night. As Youngs departed at half-time, Harry Thacker came on at flanker, Greg Bateman at tighthead and new signing George McGuigan in the centre of the front row. Add the old hooker calling the shots from the touchline and that’s some collection!
There was an excitement in seeing Ellis Genge, now officially ‘ours’ and an England international since the last time we saw him in Tigers colours, and in seeing Brendon O’Connor and Will Evans, both individually and as a combination in the same back row.
Not many of us will have seen a whole lot of Luke Hamilton playing for either Cardiff Blues or Agen, so we had a first chance to see the blond back-rower in close quarters. Even from a first glance you can appreciate what the coaching staff see in him – busy, alert and wanting to carry ball. Two lots of stitches in cuts to the head were evidence of a young man not afraid to be in the centre of the action.
The first 20 minutes provided excitement too as Youngs barged over for a close-range try and then jack Roberts made a superb midfield break which ended with Matt Smith dotting down next to the posts with most of the Ospreys defence still on the half-turn in Roberts’ wake.
Cockers and the players probably got more out of the close-quarters stuff, the periods of defiant resistance near their own tryline and the detail we don’t necessarily take in from the outside, but there were more than a few talking points from a good contest.
And now you can add the buzz provided by the arrival of JP Pietersen. Throw in the return of Messrs Cole, Mulipola, Veainu, Betham, Mike and Owen Williams, Ben Youngs and Tom Croft, and there is definite cause for hope in banishing the summertime blues while longing for the start of the ‘real’ action.