Strength in depth will be crucial to Leicester Tigers’ assault on the Gallagher Premiership summit, according to new centre Jaco Taute.
The 28-year-old joined Tigers from Munster earlier this summer, and feels the competition’s unique grind will test every aspect of Geordan Murphy’s squad in 2019/20.
“The Premiership is a gruelling competition and you need squad depth,” he said.
“It’s all about week-in, week-out challenges, and there are no easy games.
“You can’t play the same team for six games in a row – you need to rotate – and that’s where you need squad depth.”
“For me … it’s about playing the best rugby I can to get Tigers back to the top where they belong.”Jaco Taute
Add to that physical contest the prospect of this season’s Rugby World Cup, which could see anything up to 15 players pulled away from Welford Road to compete in Japan, and the opening rounds of the domestic season just got even tougher.
Taute continued: “You don’t know how much rugby the internationals will play [early on], because the World Cup is going to be a gruelling – hopefully – eight weeks for the England lads, and they also need a break here and there, so squad depth is vitally important.”
And with four rounds of Premiership Cup action before the Premiership kicks off in late October, a flexible playing staff is likely to be just as crucial.
And, in Taute, Tigers have just the man. The South Africa international can play at both inside and outside centre, and also featured at full-back as a young player.
“I really like it in the centres because I’m a bit more involved,” he added. “I like the defensive side as well as the attacking side, but I’ve been working really hard over pre-season to get back to my speed again.
“If the opportunity comes and we need a bit of squad depth at full-back, I’ll happily slot into position, as I played loads of rugby there when I was younger.
“Anywhere will do, as long as I get an opportunity to play! For me, it’s all about contributing, giving my best, [and] playing the best rugby I can to get Tigers back to the top where they belong.”
Match tickets for the opening four home games of the season are now on sale to Tigers members as well as season ticket holders requiring additional places. Tickets go on sale to all other supporters from 9.00am next Friday (August 9).
In line with the club’s new match ticketing structure, fans are encouraged to BUY EARLY to take advantage of the most affordable prices.