Fixtures - Top Bar

Manu Tuilagi: Tigers backline more fearsome than ever

Leicester Tigers made a couple of big-ticket signings in their back-line this summer and Manu Tuilagi is relishing the opportunity to learn from the new experienced heads.

Winger JP Pietersen – who has 69 South Africa caps to his name – joined from Super Rugby side the Sharks while 33-cap Australian fly-half or centre Matt Toomua moves to Welford Road from the Brumbies.

Pietersen has already tasted the Aviva Premiership by starting all four of Leicester’s league games this term, whereas Toomua will link up with the squad shortly following the completion of the Rugby Championship with the Wallabies.

And powerhouse centre Tuilagi believes Tigers’ back-line is now more fearsome than ever after the additions.

“I am very excited, the big players are just what we need,” said Tuilagi, speaking at the launch of this year’s Aviva Community Fund alongside team-mates Dan Cole and Ben Youngs.

“JP Pietersen went really well from day one and I look forward to playing with him. Matt Toomua is not here yet but I am very excited to get him into the team and play alongside him.

“It has added strength to our back-line and it’s going to be an exciting time. With players of that level – they have a lot of experience.”

The Aviva Community Fund is a nationwide initiative that lends a helping hand to local communities by offering support and funding for local causes, clubs and projects.

It has already benefited over 320,000 people, through 431 winning projects across the UK, and this year, local grassroots sports clubs can apply or reapply for funding in a new, sport-specific category.

And Tuilagi believes that ensuring the health of grassroots clubs up and down the country is vital to the future of the sport.

“I think it’s very important because that’s where we all started our rugby,” added Tuilagi. “For myself, I played at Hinckley since I was very young.

“It’s very important for the Aviva Community Fund to try and help them out. Hopefully with the money it will help to bring more kids into the sport and experience the world of rugby.

“I have a lot of good memories playing for Hinckley. You play with your mates every weekend, the same as now, but back in age groups it’s all about enjoying it.

“The ACF will help the local clubs, improve the pitches, and bring a lot more kids into the game. They enjoy it and love the game even more.”

Leicester have suffered defeat in the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals for each of the last three years, and last season reached the last four in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

And Tuilagi acknowledges that the squad are determined to improve this time around.

“Our standards set the bar very high so it’s very disappointing to come away without winning anything the last three years,” he explained.

“We need to keep building. It takes time to build a good team and winning a championship. We are nearly there; we have had some disappointments in the past but that will make us stronger.

“We learn from our mistakes we play with our experience and will take that into the season.

“We have been together for a while now. We have had some disappointments in the past. Those tough memories will definitely bring us together and it makes us stronger as a team.

“We did well last year to get to the semi-final so it was disappointing. We have learned some tough lessons. You see from teams like Leicester in the past it takes time to build a good side.”

Premiership Rugby and the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby Clubs are supporting the Aviva Community Fund, a nationwide initiative which offers funding of up to £25,000 to grassroots sports clubs and other community organisations close to your heart.

Enter at aviva.co.uk/community-fund from September 13.

Latest News

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…