Tomas Lavanini’s exit from Welford Road at the end of the season does not appear to worry Leicester Tigers supporters too much.
It was announced today that the Argentinian lock will join France’s ASM Clermont Auvergne ahead of next season, just days after Jordan Taufua also left the club with immediate effect to join Lyon.
But the loss of the 56-cap international has not come as a hammer blow to the Leicester fanbase. This is partly because the 28-year-old failed to live up to expectations.
The second-row has widely been described as world-class, and though has not necessarily performed badly so far in the Midlands, he has not made the impact that many desired considering the reputation that preceded him.
Given the gradual decline that has been witnessed in recent seasons to one of European rugby’s powerhouses, there was always a danger that any incoming player, regardless of their reputation, would not be able to stem the tide.
Moreover, the likes of Harry Wells and Calum Green have been commended for outperforming their tempestuous teammate at times, and with the depth the Tigers have in this department, there are not too many concerns.
Head coach Steve Borthwick also has a lot of faith in the players that will step up in the lock’s absence. He said: “[Lavanini’s] has been a part of the beginning of this new chapter at Tigers and we are grateful for his efforts on and off the pitch in helping us build the foundations for our future.”
Both Lavanini and Taufua were players who arrived in 2019 and promised to rekindle the diminishing grunt in Leicester’s pack. But they were two signings from a previous coaching regime, and the chance to free up the wage bill in this current financial climate may allow Borthwick to make his own impression on the squad.
Leicester have already signed Lavanini’s compatriot Julian Montoya, meaning this is not necessarily one-way traffic out of Welford Road, neither is it all doom and gloom for Leicester fans.
Not sure we got the best from him but this creates room in the cap to reward our academy players who are breaking into the 1st team.
— Simeon Wright (@simmwright) January 28, 2021
Totally agree. No doubt he is a class player but for his money, you’d expect him to have made a far bigger impact. You’re right about your emerging talent in the second row.
— ?O?TY ?? ?O?T? (@JontyUpNorth) January 28, 2021
He hasn’t I agree and hopefully creates a big gap in the cap or spare Marquee money. My point is more about the perpetual squad churn, season in season out.
— Ian Price (@goatteeboy) January 28, 2021
Not too fussed about this loss; main addition he seemed to bring to the team was a yellow card and three penalties each match!
— Sam Radford (@samradford) January 28, 2021
I like Lavinini but I don’t mind this massively – We have good depth at lock and he can be a bit of a penalty machine – Sure he will go well in France though
— david fane (@davidfane) January 28, 2021
Sorry to see him go like Taufua, but it creates salary space. Plus it’s clear that Steve wants a complete refresh and wants his own stamp on the team. Also with the rise of Sam Lewis and Tommy Reffell we are not short on depth.
— Chris Enion (@Christhetaff) January 28, 2021
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now