With another new five players were officially confirmed by Leicester Tigers today, making it all but impossible not to cast an eye ahead to the eventual side that new head coach Steve Borthwick could field when the Gallagher Premiership returns.
Internationals Matias Moroni and Kini Murimurivalu, South African-born Kobus Van Wyk, back-rower Luke Wallace and English-born, Australian-based Guy Porter. Moroni, who can play at centre, wing or full-back, joins Tigers from the Jaguares in Super Rugby, who he has represented for five seasons and with more than 40 international appearances for Los Pumas since his Test debut in 2014.
These five will be added to the Test internationals already signed up, which of course: Nemani Nadolo, Blake Enever, Matt Scott and Shalva Mamukashvili.
Outside-back Murimurivalu joins after more than a decade in French rugby, including stints with Clermont and La Rochelle, and has represented Fiji at three successive Rugby World Cups since making his international debut in 2011.
Van Wyk, currently playing for the Hurricanes in New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa, has previously represented both the Stormers and Sharks in Super Rugby and was a member of the Springboks Under-20s Junior Rugby World Cup winning squad in 2012.
The versatile outside-back will link-up with his new team-mates at Tigers at the conclusion of the Aotearoa competition.
Wallace, who made more than 170 appearances for Harlequins from 2009-2019, arrives at Tigers after a season with Coventry in the Championship and will commence training with his new club in Leicester this week.
Meanwhile, English-born Porter signs after a debut Super Rugby season with the ACT Brumbies in Australia and a decorated club career with Sydney University, who he captained to a second successive title in 2019.
Speaking about the quintet of new signings, Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Geordan Murphy said: “There is a great mix of experience and youth in these five additions to our group, who add valuable depth to the Tigers squad.
“Each of these men add something different, while also being the quality type of people we want representing Leicester Tigers moving forward.
“It’s a new look group of players, with an impressive coaching team leading them, that represent the values of our club and we are excited about what is ahead for us.”
The five signings take the total of additions to 18, which includes six players from the successful Tigers Academy programme who recorded a third straight Under-18 League title earlier this year.
Winger David Williams has also joined the club on loan from Nottingham Rugby for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, while 13 members of the club’s senior programme and five development squad players committed to the club with contract extensions in recent weeks.
Here’s a potential selection that factors in Leicester Tigers’ new acquisitions.
A NEW LOOK TIGERS SQUAD
1 Ellis Genge
2 Tom Youngs
3 Dan Cole
4 Blake Enever
5 Tomas Lavanini
6 Handro Liebenberg
7 Jordan Taufua
8 Cyle Brink
9 Ben Youngs
10 George Ford
11 Nemani Nadolo
12 Matt Scott
13 Matias Moroni
14 Kobus Van Wyk
15 Kini Murimurivalu
16 Shalva Mamukashvili
17 Nephi Leatigaga
18 Joe Hayes
19 Callum Green
20 Tommy Reffell/Luke Wallace
21 Ben White
22 Zack Henry
23 Jaco Taute/Jordan Olowofela
24th man: Harry Potter
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now