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Taufua draws on Welford Road ‘energy’

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Leicester Tigers back-rower Jordan Taufua is loving life in English rugby – and says he can’t wait to run out in front of the Welford Road faithful again this weekend.

The high-profile summer signing has two tries from his last two games, including a home debut in the club’s festive fixture with Exeter Chiefs, and another in the 30-all draw at Twickenham against Harlequins last time out.

And, ahead of a first game of the New Year with Bristol Bears this Saturday (January 4, 1.00pm), the 27-year-old has urged the Tigers squad to build on their performances in the last two rounds of Gallagher Premiership action.

“Getting my first try at Welford Road and playing in my first home game was something pretty special,” he said. “The fans’ energy at the game gives me a lot of life and I just want to go out there and perform for the boys and also our loyal supporters.

“I love the physical side of the game, so that’s something I definitely want to bring here to Tigers.

“We’re working on things, and the little things we can implement here and there will go a long way.”

Jordan Taufua Telusa Veainu
Taufua played alongside Tigers teammate Telusa Veainu in New Zealand back in 2013.

By Taufua’s own admission, Tigers have not delivered a complete performance in either of their last two games, but a high-intensity opening hour against Exeter and relentless second-half comeback against Quins show that the team are heading in the right direction.

“We need to make sure that we finish the way we start,” Taufua continued. “We haven’t put a full 80-minute performance together as a whole and we know that, so for us it’s just going out there, getting our stuff right and playing our game for 80 minutes.

“I haven’t played Bristol before, so it’ll be my first time facing them this weekend.

“They’ve got quite a few Kiwi boys in their team, so there’s definitely a bit of a way that they play back home in this team; and a lot of skilful players like Steven Luatua, Chris Vui and Charles Piutau from the back.

“We’ve definitely identified their key players – which they’ve got all across the field – but it’s about us getting our stuff right in both attack and defence, making sure that we nail what we want to do and everything else will take care of itself.”

Secure your place at Welford Road for Tigers’ first game of the New Year from £24 for adults and £11 for Under-18s. Book in person at the ticket office, on 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online using the link below.