Saracens, Northampton, Exeter, Wasps and Leicester have joined 3 French teams in the European Rugby Champions Cup last 8.
Premiership title holders Sarries will host Saints, and Wasps will welcome Exeter to the Ricoh Arena.
Leicester face Stade Francais at home, having already played them twice in the pool stages, and Racing 92 will play reigning European champions Toulon.
It is the 1st time there is no Pro12 representation in the last 8 of the competition.
Sarries, Leicester and Racing 92 guaranteed themselves a home tie in the quarterfinals last weekend, while Wasps joined them after winning Pool 5 on Saturday, with 3-time defending champions and Toulon joining them as one of the best runners-up.
Stade Francais were confirmed as 1 of the 3 best runners-up after they beat the Tigers with a bonus point on Sunday, but the other 2 places went down to the wire.
Northampton’s win over Scarlets on Saturday was enough to see them through as runners-up in Pool 3, and Exeter came through as winners of Pool 2 on points difference after beating Ospreys.
Amongst the Super Rugby news this week is the announcement that Tanerau Latimer will return to Super Rugby and join up with the Blues.
Lima Sopoaga has also extended his stay at the Highlanders.
Meanwhile the Brumbies will lose Matt Toomua to Leicester Tigers when the European season of 2016 / 2017 starts after Super Rugby of 2016, but therefore he will still be available for the Brumbies in 2016. The Brumbies have also signed hooker Robbie Abel with the Brumbies’ Extended Playing Squad for 2016.
Leicester Tigers (12) 33 / 20 (8) Stade Francais (Final Score)
Leicester Tigers and Stade Francais did battle in the European Rugby Champions Cup at
Welford Road at 21:45 SA Time (19:45 UK Time & GMT, 21:45 French Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
Exeter Chiefs (13) 19 / 6 (3) Leicester Tigers (Final Score)
The Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers did battle in the Aviva Premiership at
Sandy Park at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 UK Time & GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
The Western Province Rugby Football Union indicated that they would like to wish former DHL Western Province and DHL Stormers captain Jean de Villiers well as he embarks on the next phase of his stellar rugby career at top English club, Leicester Tigers.
De Villiers 1st wore the Blue & White hoops of Western Province as an aspiring Under 13 Craven Week player, that after his father, Andre, represented Western Province with distinction in the 1970s.
Jean de Villiers played his final match for the DHL Stormers on 3 May 2014 (against the Highlanders at DHL Newlands), racking up a total of 105 caps since his debut against the Sharks in February 2005.
He also played 50 matches for DHL Western Province, his final appearance coming in the 2013 ABSA Currie Cup Final – having made his debut in the Vodacom Cup in February 2001.
De Villiers would certainly have played more games for WP Rugby had it not been for a catalogue of serious injuries – especially the knee injury he suffered on his Springbok debut in November 2002 – but he will go down as one of this union’s greatest players in the modern era after also amassing 109 Springbok caps (including 37 as captain).
Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will continue his playing career in the English Premiership after signing with the Leicester Tigers.
De Villiers was part of South Africa’s Rugby World Cup winning squad in 2007 and captain of the 2015 campaign but announced his international retirement after suffering a fractured jaw in the 2nd Round of the tournament. With 109 Test caps he is among the most experienced players in the world game.
Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “Jean brings invaluable experience to the squad. He is among the leading centres in the modern game and has played at the very highest level for a significant period of time.
Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has been linked with a move to English Premiership club, Leicester Tigers.
A jaw fracture suffered against Samoa prematurely ended De Villiers’s Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign, with the midfielder subsequently announcing his retirement from international rugby.
De Villiers hinted that he would finish his professional career overseas, while revealing that he was considering a few options in England.
He was linked to the Tigers earlier this year, but the deal fell through before the start of the Rugby World Cup.
Bath reached their 1st Premiership final since 2004 with a comfortable play-off semi-final win over Leicester.
A brace from Matt Banahan and a Kyle Eastmond try put the hosts in control, but they ended the 1st half with 13 men as Tom Youngs replied.
2Nd-half tries from Peter Stringer, George Ford and Anthony Watson sealed Bath’s passage to Twickenham as Banahan completed his hat-trick late on.
The Blue, Black and Whites will face Saracens in the final on 30 May.
England rugby union player Manu Tuilagi will not play in the World Cup after admitting assaulting police officers, head coach Stuart Lancaster has said.
The Leicester Tigers centre, 23, was fined £ 6 205.00 when he appeared before magistrates.
He had been charged with 2 counts of assaulting a police officer, assault by beating and causing criminal damage, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
Lancaster said he would not be considered for England until January.
Glasgow Warriors have signed Australian centre Sam Johnson from the Reds and USA international lock Greg Peterson from Leicester Tigers, with the duo set to be at Scotstoun until at least May 2017.
Both players have signed 2-year contracts with the Guiness PRO12 side, subject to visas and medicals.
21-year-old Johnson 1st played schoolboy rugby for Australia ‘A’ after winning the Associated Independent Colleges competition with St Edmund’s College in 2011.
He played Rugby League for the Gold Coast Titans Under 20’s after school, before returning to Rugby Union at the end of 2013, when he joined the Reds wider training squad and returned to his former club GPS.
Leicester Tigers have agreed a move for lock forward Mike Fitzgerald, who will join them from Super Rugby outfit the Chiefs in New Zealand.
Auckland-born second row Fitzgerald, 28, has won 2 Super Rugby titles with the Chiefs as well as playing ITM Cup rugby with the Manawatu Turbos.
At six-foot-five and 18 stone, he is noted for his hard work as well as a strong set-piece.
Australia and Waratahs wing Peter Betham has agreed a move to join Leicester Tigers at the end of the Super Rugby Season.
The 26-year-old is currently playing Super Rugby with defending champions the Waratahs and on Saturday he scored 2 tries in Wellington as they became the 1st team to defeat the Hurricanes this season.
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Betham was brought up in Sydney and had spells with the Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels as well as with the Waratahs.
He made his Wallabies debut in a Bledisloe Cup fixture against the All Blacks in 2013.
England centre Manu Tuilagi is set to miss the rest of the Aviva Premiership season because of a groin injury but should be fit for the World Cup, his Leicester Tigers coach Richard Cockerill said.
The 23-year-old, who has won 25 caps and scored 11 tries for England, is still recovering from the injury he sustained in October.
England’s World Cup campaign begins against Fiji on 18 September, but they play France at home and away in August before hosting Ireland at Twickenham on 5 September.
Toulon’s abrasive and controversial boss Mourad Boudjellal is once again threatened to go to court, because a decision did not go his way.
According to reports in the French media Toulon are considering legal action against the two Leicester Tigers supporters involved in a row with their England loose forward Delon Armitage.
Armitage was suspended for 12 weeks as a result of a misconduct complaint lodged against him, following his club’s European Champions Cup defeat against Leicester Tigers.
The 31-year-old Englishman – whose teammate, Italian prop Martin Castrogiovanni, received a suspended four match ban and a fine for a post match rant – was found to have used offensive language towards spectators at Leicester’s Welford Road ground.
Crusaders Assistant Coach, Aaron Mauger, has accepted the Head Coach role with his old Leicester Tigers club from the 2015 / 2016 season.
Mauger, who will complete his third Super Rugby season as Assistant Coach with the Crusaders in 2015, played 53 games for the Leicester Tigers between 2007 and 2010 and captained the side for much of the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
He says it is a dream opportunity to return to a club that he is so fond of, in a head coach capacity.
“I have awesome memories of my time at Leicester as a player and it is a place I will very happily return to.
“I feel incredibly lucky to have the chance to do that as the head coach for the club and the timing is right for me to grab that opportunity.
“My aim is to help create the framework for Leicester to once again be amongst the top clubs in European and world rugby.
Jacques Botes marked his final game with a try and conversion as the Barbarians dazzled to beat Leicester Tigers 59-26 in a 13-try feast on Tuesday.
The attendance at Welford Road was 11,169 – all who witnessed Springbok discard Juan de Jongh showing great sportsmanship to gift Botes the final try of the match in what was the veteran’s last game of a splendid career.
Both sides played some attractive, free-flowing rugby and the crowd lapped it up.
Despite a late first-half comeback by the Tigers, to close the gap from 0-21 to 19-21 at the break, the BaaBaas put on a display of fine entertainment to outscore the home team by nine tries to four in a game that marked the famous invitation club’s 125-year celebrations.
But the Barbarians showed their class in the second period and ran riot with their Super Rugby-led backline leading the way with a mixture of pace and power.
Wasps have set the standard and now they must recreate it, says director of rugby Dai Young after watching his side battle to a 20-16 victory over reigning Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Northampton Saints.
A low-scoring first half saw the sides locked at 3-3 going into the break but tries from Ashley Johnson and Tom Varndell meant Ben Foden’s late score for Northampton was nothing more than consolation
And after their heartbreaking 34-28 loss to Saracens at Twickenham in last weekend’s opener, Young admitted he was delighted with Wasps’ response at Adams Park.
With the new English domestic season kicking off on Friday, we take a look at the prospects of each of the 12 clubs competing for the Premiership title. Let’s get started.
The pioneers of modern English rugby, Saracens have established themselves as one of Europe’s leading teams over the last few years.
Making three Premiership Finals in the last five years along with contesting Europe’s showpiece last season underlines their rise to the top of the game. Unafraid to experiment off the field, 2013/2014 saw Saracens revolutionise their play on it by throwing off the shackles and producing attacking rugby that was hard to resist. More of the same please.
Head coach Alan Solomons will start five of his new Edinburgh Rugby recruits in the club’s first pre-season match against Leicester Tigers at The Greenyards tomorrow (23 August, kick-off 14:00 BST, 15:00 SA Time).
With the exclusion of lock Fraser McKenzie – who returns from Newcastle Falcons to start the game alongside Ollie Atkins – four of the five signings will make their debut for the capital club.
Leicester Tigers have confirmed the arrival of World Cup-winning former All Black second row Brad Thorn.
39-year-old New Zealander was referred to by Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill as “one of the great all-time rugby players the world has ever seen.” He is expected at the club at the end of September.
Thorn became the first player to win World Cup, Super Rugby and Heineken Cup titles and arrives from the Highlanders having previously represented the Crusaders and Leinster.
“He is a very driven individual,” Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury.
“He wants to play in the Premiership and he wants to win the Premiership.”
Edinburgh Rugby’s pre-season clash with Leicester Tigers at the Greenyards on Saturday 23 August (kick-off 2pm) will be followed match between two of Scotland’s top clubs, to herald the start of the 2014/15 campaign.
Melrose, Scotland’s champion club, and Heriot’s, holders of the National Cup, will meet later this month in the inaugural BT Scottish Rugby Charity Shield. Richard Mill (left) and Jack Turley fromt he respective clubs are pictured above at today’s launch.
The game will crown a feast of rugby at The Greenyards on Saturday 23 August, the week before the new BT Premiership season kicks-off.
Starting the action on 23 August will be a pre-season clash between Edinburgh Rugby and Leicester Tigers, which will kick-off at 2pm.
Then the BT Scottish Rugby Charity Shield will follow with a 5pm kick-off.
The initiative came from Melrose and was discussed with Scottish Rugby and the Premiership Forum.
Premiership Rugby have confirmed that four Semi-finalists for the 2013 /2014 Aviva Premiership Semi-finals later this month.
Now that the final Round of Premiership league matches have been completed the Semi-finalists have been determined.
Saracens will contest the red card shown to flanker Justin Melck during their 31-27 Premiership defeat by Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
The 31-year-old South African was dismissed on 44 minutes by referee Greg Garner for appearing to eye-gouge Tigers hooker Neil Briggs, who said the official had made a mistake.
“We are hugely disappointed,” said Sarries director of rugby Mark McCall. “We will look to have it overturned. It was a dreadful decision.”
Former England and Leicester Tigers hooker George Chuter has announced that he will retire from playing professional rugby with immediate effect.
The first man to make 250 appearances in Premiership Rugby action and a Rugby World Cup Finalist with England in 2007, Chuter has played 292 first-team games in 13 seasons with Leicester Tigers.
The tug of war regarding the premier club competition in European rugby has been conducted very publicly for a long time and a week ago it was reported that an announcement on the structure of future competitions was imminent. However, it all seems to have gone quiet and no final announcement has been forthcoming.
There are rumours that the Italian clubs and their representative bodies were needing to discuss a few details of what should otherwise be a done deal. Furthermore there is the question of the broadcasting battle between Sky and BT Sport which is apparently in the process of being sorted out with a joint broadcast agreement likely for next season. The final rumour is that the parties involved may not have wanted to make any announcements this week in the lead up to the quarter finals of the current Heineken Cup competition.
Round 6 of the European Cup, which includes the Heineken Cup (Premier Competition) and Amlin Challenge Cup (secondary Qualification Competition) happened this past weekend and there was high drama and lots of action!
Sunday evening the full puzzle of who plays where in the Play-Off’s of both the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge cup was revealed.
In the Heineken Cup, Ulster will host Saracens, ASM Clermont Auvergne will host Leicester Tigers, whilst the defending champions Toulon will host Leinster and Munster will host Toulouse at Thomond Park. The Quarter-finals will take place on the weekend of 4 to 6 April.
In the Amlin Challenge Cup Northampton Saints, Harlequins and Gloucester have booked their spots in the Quarter-finals along with the amlin Challenge Cup Pool winners Bath, London Wasps, Stade Francais, Sale Sharks and Brive.
Bath will host Brive, London Wasps will host Gloucester, Stade Francais host Harlequins and Sale Sharks will host Northampton Saints.
The race to these Cup winners will be interrupted by the Six Nations tournament, which takes place from 1 February 2014.
If the qualification picture for the European Cup quarterfinals is now significantly clearer following last weekend’s Round Five games, the closing series of pool matches in Europe’s premier club tournament retains its customary intrigue.
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill accused Sale of “cheating” at the scrum following their 30-23 victory over the Sharks at Welford Road.
Saracens (18) 49 / 10 (10) Leicester Tigers (Final Score)
Saracens and Leicester Tigers did battle in the Aviva Premiership at
Allianz Park at 17:15 SA Time (15:15 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & SHD on TV in SA.
Ulster kicked off their Heineken Cup with a 22-16 Pool 5 victory over Leicester Tigers ar Ravenhill on Friday night.
Leicester Tigers replacement Owen Williams kicked a late penalty for the visitors to earn them a losing bonus point.
Exeter Chiefs might have just got one over local rivals Gloucester Rugby in their own back yard, but head coach Rob Baxter insists there is plenty more to come from his side this Aviva Premiership season.
Aussie flank Ben White says Exeter Chiefs cannot wait to get stuck into Leicester Tigers in their latest Premiership encounter this Sunday.
Buoyed by back-to-back league wins over London Wasps and London Irish, the Chiefs are now busy preparing themselves for the visit of the defending champions to Sandy Park.
Newcastle Falcons will be keen to prove they are worthy when they get the 2013/14 Premiership season underway against Bath at Kingston Park tonight. While the opening round has a number of intriguing fixtures – London Irish v Saracens, Gloucester v Sale Sharks, Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs, London Wasps v Harlequins and Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors – it is the Falcons that will hog most of the early limelight.
Dylan Hartley will miss out on this year’s British and Irish Lions tour of Australia. The Northampton Saints captain was sent off yesterday during the Aviva Premiership Final against Leicester Tigers at Twickenham.
The culmination of many English players’ dream is to play at Twickenham and both Leicester and Northampton will be hoping to put on a spectacle in the Premiership final at HQ on Saturday.