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Richard Wigglesworth tipped to take over at Leicester Tigers

By Ian Cameron
Richard Wigglesworth - PA

With news breaking this morning that Steve Borthwick will be confirmed as England’s new head coach on Monday, it raises the immediate question of who will take over at Leicester Tigers.

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It’s widely expected that define Kevin Sinfield will join Borthwick in the move to Twickenham, with the RFU set to clarify the situation on Monday.

While Borthwick’s appointment was the worst-kept secret in rugby, the rumour mill around who will take over the reins at Welford Road has been a little quieter.

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Some had drawn links between Leinster head coach and former Tigers second-row Leo Cullen, but the Irishman has dismissed links this week in the Irish media.

One source RugbyPass spoke to believes the most likely next step for Leicester is to appoint Richard Wigglesworth as interim coach. The evergreen 39-year-old is currently a player-coach at the Gallagher Premiership champions;  in charge of attack as well as featuring on the pitch.

Speculation earlier this month had the RFU wanting Wigglesworth to come across with Borthwick, but it now appears that both Wigglesworth and highly rated S&C specialist Aled Walters will be staying put.

Former England scrum-half Wigglesworth was the first player in Gallagher Premiership history to surpass 300 appearances.

Born in Blackpool, he rose through the ranks of the Sale Sharks junior system before making his professional debut in 2002 and represented England at Under-18, 19 and 21 age group levels.

A six-time Premiership Rugby and three-time European Champions Cup winner, Wigglesworth made his Test debut in 2008 against Italy in Rome and made a total of 33 appearances for England,  his last coming against Australia at Twickenham in 2018.

He joined Tigers in 2020 and earlier this year was promoted to a duel playing/attack coach role by Borthwick.

While he is very much in the early stages of his coaching career, he has already enjoyed spells in coaching with Canada and Ealing Trailfinders.

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finn 4 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

12 Go to comments
S
Simon 7 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

31 Go to comments
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