Fixtures - Top Bar

Peter Betham backs Manu Tuilagi to shine for England


By all accounts, Manu Tuilagi is England’s No.12 in waiting – and the man who linked up with him in midfield on Sunday is expecting fireworks.

Peter Betham has spent much of his first season with Leicester Tigers out on the wing but the Australian international shifted to his preferred No.13 jersey against Exeter Chiefs last time out.

On his inside was Tuilagi, fully fit at last and in an unfamiliar role at inside centre, and the duo each crossed the whitewash in a 31-27 victory.

Next up for Betham and his Tigers teammates is a trip to Wasps, while Tuilagi has linked up with Eddie Jones’ England for their Six Nations clash with Wales.

Tuilagi has not featured for the Red Rose since June 2014 but he is in line to end the long wait at Twickenham on Saturday – quite possibly in his new role at inside centre.

“He has taken to it really well,” said Betham. “I don’t think teams have seen how versatile he is – he has a subtle side to his game, his passing game and his kicking game.

“I think he is ready to get back to the big stage and I am just hoping he isn’t this good when England play against Australia!

“He definitely brings a lot of power to our team and our back line. He is a force to be reckoned with and I’m happy just picking up his leftovers.

“Initially I was definitely up for the challenge of playing outside centre and especially being outside of Manu – being with him opened up quite a few corridors for me.

“I enjoy playing 13 and being outside of a world-class player like Manu was great for me.”

While Tuilagi is readjusting to life at the top level, Leicester will be hoping to further reel in the Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders.

The second-placed Chiefs are now just five points better off than the Tigers after their defeat on Sunday, while table-topping Saracens were also beaten at the weekend, by Northampton Saints.

And with a trip to Wasps – the league’s in-form side – next on the agenda, Betham is hoping to repeat the performance that saw Leicester open up a 31-6 lead against Exeter at the weekend, not the second-half showing that almost saw the visitors complete a remarkable comeback.

“Sunday was a good in terms of putting in our structures and our set-piece defence,” he added.

“We were confident in our ability and for 50 minutes we showed what we can do but we let them in at the end.

“I’m not too sure there were nerves, it was just a frustration that we couldn’t get ourselves back into the game and on the front foot.”

Latest News

Northampton Saints to receive investment from majority shareholders

Northampton Saints plc, the parent company of Northampton Saints, has today announced a significant cash injection into the Aviva Premiership…

Northampton Saints celebrate

Jimmy Gopperth: Youthful experience can help Wasps thrive in key period

Wasps may have suffered a first Aviva Premiership Rugby loss since November last weekend but with a hungry, young squad…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

More to come from Leicester Tigers, warns Dom Barrow

Leicester Tigers have recorded back-to-back bonus-point victories but lock Dom Barrow has issued a warning to the rest of Aviva…


RFU Disciplinary: Francois Louw and Kahn Fotuali’i

Francois Louw and Kahn Fotuali’i of Bath Rugby will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel in Bristol on Tuesday 21…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Matt Symons, James Short, Sinoti Sinoti and Geoff Parling top the OPTA Rugby Rankings

Aviva Premiership Rugby served us up a treat this weekend with 374 points scored in Round 15 and the OPTA…


Worcester Warriors sign Jersey prop Simon Kerrod

Warriors have captured the signing of Jersey Reds tighthead prop Simon Kerrod. The 24-year-old, who is considered to be a…

Simon Kerrod

England Rugby squad update

28 players assembled at Pennyhill Park on Monday evening to train for Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations game against Italy at…

Mako Vunipola

New Technology and Strategy film launched as part of Rugby Change Series

Global technology company, Ricoh today launches the fourth film in their Rugby Change Series; which identifies and analyses the major…

Ricoh Technology and Strategy

James Short full of praise for Exeter Chiefs pack

Hat-trick hero James Short praised the contribution of the Exeter Chiefs pack as they brushed aside the attentions of Worcester…

James Short

Steve Gorvett to step down as Bristol Rugby CEO

Steve Gorvett has decided to step down as Chief-Executive at the end of the 2016/17 campaign. Mark Tainton has been…

Steve Gorvett

Gloucester Rugby statement on supporter behaviour at Saracens game

Gloucester Rugby today issued the following statement in relation to an incident following the Saracens game at Kingsholm on Friday…


Premiership Rugby backs #LiftTheWeight campaign

Premiership Rugby is proud to support #LiftTheWeight a new campaign from The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) that aims to help…


David Ewers eager to get back fit and firing for Exeter Chiefs

David Ewers may be tipped for an England call-up in the near future but the flanker believes holding down a starting…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Newcastle Falcons sign Josh and Joel Matavesi

Newcastle Falcons’ ambitious recruitment plans for the 2017-18 season have advanced with the news that Fijian international Josh Matavesi and…

Josh Matavesi

Darren Allinson to re-join Bath Rugby on a two-year deal

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce that scrum-half Darren Allinson has agreed a deal to re-join the Club on a…

Darren Allinson