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Taute talks up ‘new energy’ in rugby return

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South African centre Jaco Taute says Saturday’s first game back at Exeter showed a glimpse of what the new-look Leicester Tigers are about, despite the result.

Tigers resumed their Gallagher Premiership campaign after more than five months on the sidelines with a trip to the league leaders on Saturday.

And despite coming out on the wrong end of the score line, Taute noted how the performance featured some of the biggest work-ons from new head coach Steve Borthwick.

“The whole theme we’ve been working towards is to take everything that is good about the Tigers and build on it,” he said.

“With Steve coming in, we have taken everything that was good about the ‘old’ Tigers and are bringing a new energy to that. We definitely came out fighting, and you saw that we never gave up.

“We were always in the battle but we gave away a few soft penalties that led to tries.

"This is an exciting time and, while there is still a lot to work on, we’re looking forward to it. For us, it’s like a brand new start and we can only get better from here.”

Tigers now look ahead to two home games in the space of five days, with Bath Rugby the visitors this Saturday (August 22) before London Irish the following Wednesday.

“We’ll get the bodies recovered because there will be a few sore bodies from the first game, and make sure to get back recharged and refreshed,” Taute continued.

“Bath and Leicester go back a long way as a massive game, so I’m looking forward to that as well.

“I’m looking forward to playing at home because, even though we wish the fans could be there, we know we’ve got lots to work on and it makes this a really exciting time.”

A version of this story first appeared in the ROAR, the email newsletter sent directly to your inbox twice a week with all the latest news and views from Welford Road and Oval Park.

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