TOP BAR - Fixtures

Bell braced for Leicester Tigers’ Argentina test

As pre-season opponents go, it doesn’t get a lot tougher than an Argentina side fresh from slaying the Springboks.

But as Leicester Tigers prepare to welcome Los Pumas to Welford Road for Marcos Ayerza’s testimonial match, Tommy Bell is relishing the challenge.

The Tigers are in the thick of a gruelling pre-season and a clash with Argentina this weekend represents their first opportunity for a bit of match practice.

It is no easy introduction – Daniel Hourcade’s charges are bracing themselves for the World Cup and recently beat two-time world champions South Africa in the Rugby Championship – but full-back Bell is not too concerned.

“Argentina is the first game back for a few months after a long, hard block of fitness and a lot of training,” he said. “Everyone is excited to get out there.

“It is tough. Sometimes you want to build in lightly and build up to games but we are getting chucked in right at the deep end. At the same time it’s good – and you want chances to play in big games and I am sure it will be a good atmosphere.

“Their squad in general is pretty strong. They have come off a Rugby Championship where they beat South Africa and they are looking to take a bit of momentum into their World Cup campaign.”

Ayerza – who joined Leicester back in 2006 and has 147 Aviva Premiership Rugby appearances to his name – will be the centre of attention on the day, but Bell is not ready to give him an easy afternoon.

“I will target him,” he laughed. “I’ll try to run around him a few times, which should be good.”

However, this is not just a World Cup warm-up for Argentina or an opportunity to honour a Leicester legend – it represents the start of the campaign for the Tigers.

After a hit-and-miss campaign last time out, they have called on All Blacks legend Aaron Mauger as the new head coach and Bell admits he is drinking in as much wisdom as possible before season gets underway.

“He has changed the game plan a little bit,” added Bell. “It is just about taking time and luckily we have got the extended pre-season to get our heads around it.

“He was a fantastic player and I grew up watching him for the All Blacks and the Tigers. He is a great coach, he has brought some new methods in and some slight changes to the game plan.

“Everyone is buying into it and raring to get going with the new season.”

Latest News

Toby Flood starts for Newcastle Falcons against Rotherham Titans

Toby Flood makes the first start of his second spell at Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they host Rotherham Titans…

Joe Marler commits to Harlequins until 2021

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today, Friday 18th August, that England and British and Irish Lions prop, Joe Marler, has…

Joe Marler

European fixtures to be released on Tuesday

The fixtures for the 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season will be announced on Tuesday, 22 August at 3.00pm…

Rokoduguni starts for Bath Rugby against Ospreys

Semesa Rokoduguni will make his first appearance of pre-season when Bath Rugby take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on…

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili

Stringer starts for Worcester Warriors at Birmingham Moseley

Summer signing Peter Stringer will get his first start for Warriors on Friday night as his side take on Birmingham…

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal