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Ford's Tigers consultancy role revised

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Mike Ford has had his role at Leicester revised

Mike Ford’s role at Leicester Tigers has been revised ahead of the new season. The former Bath boss was parachuted in last season as a consultant to help the club stave off the threat of relegation.

However, with former Tigers boss Pat Howard now appointed in a mentoring role for the managerial group, Ford has shed the consultancy tag and will take on a more defined position, that of running the attack. 

Leicester scored just 47 tries in last season’s Gallagher Premiership, just four better than relegated Newcastle and a long way off Exeter’s table-topping tally of 89.

“The nature of last season it certainly felt I was in doing quite a lot throughout the season,” explained Geordan Murphy on Leicester Tigers TV. Murphy went from assistant to interim head coach last September before landing the head coaching role on a permanent basis midway through a difficult campaign where Tigers finish 11th out of 12 teams.   

Having Mike come on board and take a little bit more of a lead in the attack has been great for me in that it helps me oversee and have those conversations with Mike and we have got Phil Blake who has got a pre-season, he has been putting the defence together. 

“He joined us in January and that was probably one of the massive areas of improvement that we expect to see. Mark Bakewell is taking the forwards and Brett Deacon is picking up all the work that needs to be done in and around that. We have resourced well and hopefully, we can keep improving. 

“Mike is going to run the attack. Phil will run the defence, Mark will run the forwards and Brett is going to do breakdown across the club. At the minute Boris (Stankovich) does the scrum and does that throughout the club and we’re lucky. One of the things that I was conscious that I wanted to do was use people where they are strong. 

“We have got some great coaches in the academy as well who will help develop and mentor guys. Dave Mele has come on board the academy and we will use him with the first-team nines and 10s as well.” 

Tigers are spending this week at an army base in Aldershot in the hope of further ratcheting up the levels of fitness they were unhappy with when reviewing last term’s underwhelming campaign where they won just seven of 22 league matches. 

“We are very lucky to be here and train at a new venue. We can get the players together for a week so we can have numerous training sessions and meetings and spend a little bit of time together… we wanted to work on our fitness. We have done that over the first few weeks and coming to an army camp enables us to train particularly hard.

“It [pre-season] has been good so far. The players are working very hard and I have to commend them. There has been a real attitude shift. People recognise we probably weren’t fit enough last season and it is something we wanted to address.”

WATCH: Part one of The Academy, the six-part RugbyPass documentary series on how Leicester Tigers develop their future first-team players

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Mike Ford has had his role at Leicester revised