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Leicester Tigers' rapid decline since Borthwick's exit is worrying fans

By Ian Cameron
Richard Wigglesworth - PA

Was this worth £1 million? It’s a thought that must be crossing many Leicester Tigers fans’ minds as the Gallagher Premiership champions struggle to find form following the exit of Steve Borthwick. The reported price tag the RFU stumped up by way of compensation for Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield – which many baulked at – now looks like a bargain.

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It’s early days but the Welford Road side who have struggled terribly since Borthwick left the club to become head of England – taking defence coach Kevin Sinfield with him.

Tigers have lost their last three games on the trot which speaks to the difficult time the team are having adjusting to the new leadership of interim head coach Richard Wigglesworth – even allowing for a recent spate of injuries. Coaching changes can often lead to a period of instability and adjustment for a team, but the speed of Leicester’s decline has exceeded even the most pessimistic forecasts for the post-Borthwick era.

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A 45-26 hammering at the hands of Newcastle will chasten the side, not least that it came off a 40-5 humiliation at the hands of Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell the weekend before.

Worried fans have taken to social media to express their concerns.

“Steve Borthwick took over a side (Tigers) that were the worst in the country. Within 2 seasons they were champions. In the first 2 full game weeks since he left for the England job. They’ve lost 31-85 in aggregate,” wrote one fan. “Borthwick the miracle worker!”

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One normal positive fan described the performance in Newcastle as awful. “I like to think I am normally fairly positive about Tigers performances and today it is no different. Today’s performance was positively awful. Chins up! I will say though our players don’t look as fit as they did. What’s happening at Oval Park?”

“Unfortunately not a good showing today and it looks quite clear we need a top attack and defence coach over the coming months,” said one worried fan. “Just need to get around the lads and add a few more ball carriers. Just pray we don’t go back to the same mistakes as Murphy era.”

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“Last week frustrating but given freak injuries we all understood,” bemoaned another fan. “Today was miserable to watch. Toothless for most of that match, lazy defence & awful discipline. Credit to our bench for digging out a bonus point.”

One fan argued that fans must remain patient after the huge upheaval behind the scenes. “Rome wasn’t built in a day. Contract negotiations, getting the right people NOT the rushed people. Would you rather them get who they want and will actually make an impact? Or rush any find anyone who is simply available and continue with results like this?”

It looks like the Leicester Tigers will have to endure some tough times in terms of results until they find the right coaching ticket to lead the team back to success.

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