Fixtures - Top Bar

Mathew Tait: Manu Tuilagi and Leicester Tigers will return stronger


Mathew Tait has tipped Manu Tuilagi for a return to form and backed his Leicester Tigers side, subdued in recent weeks, to bite back against London Irish on Sunday.

Richard Cockerill’s side have lost their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures, including a narrow defeat to Harlequins at the Stoop last Friday.

While Tait was happy to see England centre Tuilagi return along with Tigers debutant Jean de Villiers, he insisted the squad were intently focused on returning to winning ways. 

Tigers’ problems, according to Tait, are largely self-inflicted and as such, easy to resolve, and the former England back believes they have enough class to pull through their mini-slump.  

“We have got too good players not to turn things around, but there is hard work to be done,” he said.

“It is frustrating because we gave them a lot of their points, but the consolation is that we have the ability to deal with those mistakes.

“It is obviously good to have Manu back and for Jean de Villiers to make his debut, but everyone is disappointed with the result.”

As for Tuilagi, Tait echoed Cockerill in urging caution over his return, but was adamant no one would be disappointed once the powerhouse centre hits his straps.

“Manu is getting sharper, it was a similar injury that I had myself and it is not going to be something that comes back instantly,” he explained.

“His groin is fine, but as for his match sharpness, that could be six or seven weeks. Everyone is aware of his qualities, he will get there and everyone will see the Manu that they know and want to see.”

Ex-Newcastle Falcons and Sale Sharks man Tait also praised director of rugby Cockerill’s relationship with head coach and former All-Black Aaron Mauger, who had a stint with Tigers as a player a decade ago.

He said: “Richard is pretty hard-nosed and he maintains that traditional Leicester ethos.

“Before the Harlequins game he told us in no uncertain terms that some of our play against Newcastle was unacceptable. Our accuracy at the breakdown for one, but that is Richard’s area of expertise.

“It is reassuring to have Aaron around. I am able to play a bit more and he has focused on getting our basic skills better. He has brought in a few new systems, but it is nothing drastic, just about being comfortable with the ball.

“He is great to have around and he knows all about the Leicester way, having been here as a player.”

Latest News

Anthony Watson targets England jersey ahead of Bath Rugby return

Anthony Watson is a man on a mission for club and country in 2017, hell-bent on regaining his England shirt ahead…


Bristol Rugby skipper David Lemi returns for Pau clash

David Lemi returns as skipper when Bristol Rugby face Pau in the European Challenge Cup on Sunday (3pm KO). Only…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Will Spencer and Connor Braid set for Worcester Warriors debuts

Worcester Warriors duo Will Spencer and Connor Braid will make their club debuts this Saturday when they take on Newport…


Exeter Chiefs side to face Bordeaux Begles

Nothing less than victory will suffice for Rob Baxter and his Exeter Chiefs side ahead of Sunday’s European Champions Cup…

Jack Nowell in last season's Aviva Premiership Rugby final

Kurtley Beale named in Wasps team to face Connacht Rugby this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena

Kurtley Beale named in Wasps team to face Connacht Rugby this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena Wallaby signing Kurtley Beale…

Kurtley Beale will make his Wasps debut in the Champions Cup

England quartet return for Saracens European clash with Sale Sharks

Saracens have named their side to face Sale Sharks in Saturday’s round three of the European Rugby Champions Cup clash…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Harlequins team to play Timisoara Saracens

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Timisoara Saracens in Round 3 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Leicester Tigers team news for European Champions Cup trip to Ireland

Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs return to the Leicester Tigers line-up for Saturday's European Champions Cup trip to face Munster…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Sale Sharks name side to face Saracens in European Rugby Champions Cup

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Saracens in the European Rugby Champions Cup on Saturday (kick off…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Ewels and Stooke back for Bath Rugby

Charlie Ewels and Elliott Stooke both return to the Bath Rugby starting line-up tomorrow when they face Cardiff Blues in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Fisher hails ‘outstanding’ Gloucester Rugby after La Rochelle win

Gloucester Rugby ran in four tries as they romped to an impressive European Rugby Challenge Cup win over La Rochelle,…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Shervington re-joins Wasps on short-term contract

Edd Shervington has signed a three-month contract with the club to provide cover at hooker, following injuries to Tom Cruse…

Edd Shervington

Dean Hammond – We’ll play a positive brand of rugby

Winger Dean Hammond insists Worcester Warriors will play a positive brand of rugby as they prepare for Saturday's European Challenge…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Premiership Rugby clubs in Europe live on TV

Aviva Premiership Rugby’s finest return to European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup action this weekend looking to build on…


Josh Beaumont backs Sale Sharks’ new boys to shine

Marquee summer signings AJ MacGinty and Josh Charnley are primed and ready to make their presence felt in the second…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match officials for this weekend’s European fixtures

Northampton Saints will face Leinster in a rematch of the memorable 2011 final as the European Rugby Champions Cup returns…


Sam Egerton ready for fierce Lyon challenge

Scrum-half Sam Egerton believes Newcastle Falcons can push on and meet ‘fire with fire’ against Lyon in the European Rugby…

Sam Egerton making a break against Ospreys in the Challenge Cup

Geoff Parling: Chiefs can draw European inspiration from last season’s heroics

Following two defeats from two, qualification for the European knock-out stages may look like mission improbable – but if there’s…


Aaron Morris desperate for Quins to sort out away form

Aaron Morris is proud of Harlequins’ record at the Stoop but the full-back has warned his teammates the season will…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Fenton-Wells confident Lam will make impact at Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby flanker Nick Fenton-Wells is confident the club have acquired a top coach in Pat Lam but won’t let…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library