Over the past six weeks, there has been growing speculation about where former Wasps centre Kyle Eastmond will be playing his rugby in the coming season. One of the most likely destinations for the 29-year-old is Leicester Tigers, who have been searching for an explosive addition to their backline.
Eastmond has been without a club since the end of this season after having been released from the Coventry based club. This is yet another setback for the former Rugby League star who as of yet has not managed to meet the hype that originally surrounded him on his move to Union.
Since his release, there has been a great deal of speculation about where he will end up, one popular rumour is that he is set for a return to Rugby League, by joining north-west based club Warrington Wolves. Eastmond made a name for himself at St Helens, scoring all of the Saint’ points in their defeat to Leeds in the 2009 Grand Final.
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However a move to Welford Road could be just the answer that the centre is looking for as he would be joining a backline that is packed with power and pace alike. Discussion on social media has hinted at this move and it appears that a deal is looking more likely with every passing day.
A source tells me Kyle Eastmond is close to moving to Leicester Tigers.
— Neil Fissler (@neilfissler) July 18, 2018
We have put together a potential Tigers 2018/2019 backline if the Kyle Eastmond transfer was to go ahead. It appears to be packed with speed and creativity which the Midlands team greatly needs.
Matt Toomua has been omitted from this list due to his strong links to a move back to Australia.
15. Mathew Tait
Age appears to only be a number for the 32-year-old Leicester star who is as fast as ever coming into his eighth season at Welford Road. Tait impressively managed to chase down Wasps flyer Dan Robson this year in a foot race that many other players would have lost. There is significant competition from the likes of Adam Thompstone in this position, however it is clear that a team without Tait suffers significantly.
14. Telusa Veainu
The New Zealand born Tongan has been somewhat of a revelation since his arrival at Leicester Tigers. His speed and footwork surpass that of almost every other player in the Premiership and he simply has to be included in this backline.
13. Manu Tuilai
Tuilagi adds a different dynamic to this backline with his explosive runs and carrying. Over the past few years, it appears that teams have managed to handle his game style by man marking the 27-year-old. Nonetheless, this still takes bodies out the game which creates more space for some of the faster players on the flanks.
12. Kyle Eastmond
Eastmond acts as the perfect counterweight to Tuialgi with his pace and footwork. It would be interesting to see Eastmond creating holes that could be very quickly exploited by his partner in the midfield. The former Wasps flyer would also add a different dimension to that of Matt Toomua who lacks a step of pace on his potential replacement.
11. Jonny May
May adds some serious speed to this backline. A player like Kyle Eastmond could easily find gaps for the England star to break through. His performances for England this seasons have been impressive to say the least, none more so than his fantastic try against South Africa last month.
10. George Ford
The England 10 has struggled to win over many pundits this season with poor performances for both club and country this year. Couple that with claims that Tommua was a better choice at outside half and you have a player who is low on confidence and form. Despite this, it is evident that Ford is a player with genuine class who needs the reassurance to know that he has the backing of his team to properly control the game. We have seen his class in matches where it is apparent that he is steering the boat, and Eastmond does not seem like the player to tell Ford where to go.
9. Ben Youngs
The long-serving Tigers scrum-half was an easy pick on this list. His experience at 9 means that the likes of Holmes and Veainu can chase his kicks safe in the knowledge that they are going to land in optimum positions for competition in the air. Similarly to Ford, it could be argued that Youngs is somewhat of a confidence player so it is important that this Tigers team hits the ground running come the start of the 2018/2019 season.
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