Last season was a campaign to forget for Leicester. The former giants of English rugby slipped to 11th in the Gallagher Premiership, their worst ever finish in the professional era, a crash that has left them having to participate in the tier two Challenge Cup for the first time.
However, in an effort to ensure the squad is as fighting fit as possible for the delayed start to the 2019/20 season, they have enlisted the help of a local champion boxer to put their larger players through the ringer once a week in the hope they will be in their best shape ever come the first whistle in September.
Rendall Munroe is a former English, Commonwealth, EBU and WBA international boxing champion and he has agreed to add some punch to the Tigers’ pre-season, running gruelling session once a week to assist Geordan Murphy’s squad members who, according to the club’s website, would have been better known in the past as the ‘Fat Club’.
Nicknamed the Boxing Binman, Munroe is running a weekly hour-long session on a Saturday with a club now known as the Bin Bag Bodies as they have to physically wear bags throughout their pre-season session.
It’s a tactic the Tigers backroom staff are hoping can reap handsome rewards. “Rendall is a home-grown, world-class athlete and has achieved some incredible feats in boxing – we would be silly not to want to work with him,” said Alex Martin, Tigers’ head of strength and conditioning.
We’re looking forward to coming back … well, some of them might not be! ? pic.twitter.com/tXRo5gvtPI
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) June 29, 2019
“The session also presented a chance for to us to take the boys out of the comfortable surrounds of Oval Park and challenge them in a different environment – with a different voice in Rendall leading the session.
“We had a bit of fun with them too and went old school in having them wear bin bags, which boxers are well known for doing, and I was pleased with how they all jumped right into it and embraced the challenge.
“Rendall will continue to work with us throughout the pre-season and it’s exciting for the club to have someone of his standing and achievements in our corner, so to speak!”
Aside from the workout under the watchful eye of Munroe and his 2BX crew in Leicester, some players stepped into the ring for a sparring session with the champion boxer. They included George Stankovich, the son of Tigers scrum coach Boris.
WATCH: Episode one of The Academy, the six-part RugbyPass documentary series on how Leicester Tigers develop their young players
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.