Leicester Tigers


Leicester Tigers

Rugby team
teamname = Leicester Tigers (Tigers)



location = Leicester, England
country

fullname = Leicester Football Club
founded = 1880
ground = Welford Road
capacity = 17,498
chairman = flagicon|England Peter Tom
coach = flagicon|South Africa Heyneke Meyer
captain = flagicon|England Martin Corry
league = Guinness Premiership
season = 2007-08
position = 4th (Finalists)
url = www.tigers.co.uk
pattern_la1=_leicesterh| pattern_b1=_leicesterh| pattern_ra1=_leicesterh| leftarm1=008000| body1=008000| rightarm1=008000| shorts1=FFFFFF| socks1=006400
pattern_la2=| pattern_b2=_thinsidesonwhite| pattern_ra2=| leftarm2=FFFFFF| body2=800080| rightarm2=FFFFFF| shorts2=FFFFFF| socks2=FFFFFF

Leicester Football Club (nicknamed Leicester Tigers) is an English rugby union club that plays in the Guinness Premiership. The club has been the most successful English club of the professional era, winning the Heineken Cup twice and the league five times under the captaincy of Martin Johnson, all in the space of 7 years.

Leicester are one of only four teams never to have been relegated from the top division and have never finished a league season below 6th position. They are the only English side to have qualified to play in every Heineken Cup in which English teams have participated. The club's turnover for 2006-07 was £15.2 million. [http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=132950&command=displayContent&sourceNode=132730&contentPK=19294343&pNodeId=132443]

History

Early years

Leicester Football Club was formed in a meeting held in the city's George Hotel on August 1880 by the merger of three smaller teams: Leicester Societies AFC, Leicester Amateur FC and Leicester Alert. That October, the new club wore black for their first game against Moseley at the Belgrave Cricket and Cycle Ground.

It was not until five years or so later that the nickname "Tigers" was first used, the "Leicester Daily Post" reporting that "the Tiger stripes were keeping well together". The origin of the nickname is uncertain, but it may have come from The Royal Leicestershire Regiment, which received the nickname after serving in India. An alternative theory is that the team wore a brown and yellow striped shirt. In their early years, they were also known as "The Death or Glory Boys". The now-famous scarlet, green and white jerseys were not introduced until 1891, although these were in a vertical stripe formation until the distinctive hoops were first worn in September 1895.

They moved in 1892 to their present ground at Welford Road, Leicester. Having won the Midlands Cup every year from 1898 to 1905, they dropped out "to give other teams a chance".Fact|date=July 2007

In the 1926/27 season, Leicester started using letters to identify their forwards, expanding the practice by 1931/32 to the whole team.

Post war

With the arrival of Chalkie White in 1968, things began to improve significantly. He was a very progressive coach who demanded high standards of fitness and tactics. His unique style of coaching brought success on the pitch, and with that success came increased attendances.

Leicester started to grow as a club towards the end of the 1970s. At the start of the decade, the club had just 600-700 members and gates were less than 1,000. By 1980, the Tigers had reached their first cup final, and the club was on its way towards a substantial period of growth.

During 1970s the team played in front of a packed stadium during the annual Boxing Day Barbarians event (in contrast with the usual 750-2,000 spectators). This game still takes place each year; however, it is no longer played on Boxing Day since Leicester now play a league game near that date.

A first Twickenham final appearance ended in defeat by Gloucester in the John Player Cup in 1978, but the Tigers won the next three against Moseley (15-12), London Irish (21-9) and Gosforth (22-15). This meant they were allowed to keep the trophy. The fifth final was a loss to Bristol in 1983.

In August 1980, Leicester became the first English club to go on a tour in the southern hemisphere, where they played six games in Australia and Fiji to mark the club's centenary.

In the 1980s, the club still enjoyed the benefits of amateur rugby, with nights away and Easter tours, although off the pitch the Tigers were taking their first steps towards corporate sponsorship. When they beat Waterloo on the last day of the 1987/88 season, the Tigers became England’s first official champions.

Nineties and onwards

The early 1990s saw the emergence of Leicester's renowned ABC Club, so called because of the letters the front row players wore on their backs, with Graham Rowntree, hooker Richard Cockerill and Darren Garforth.

Leicester began one of the greatest winning streaks of any team. This streak started when a young pack helped Leicester to defeat Harlequins 23-16 in the 1993 cup final. They were English champions again in 1995, won the Pilkington Cup in 1997 (9-3 against Sale) and were the first English team to get to the Heineken Cup final before losing to Brive in the same year. In the 1996 cup final, Tigers lost to Bath (which was just finishing its own great domination of English rugby) after Steve Lander gave a contentious penalty try to in the last minute which sealed their victory. After the match Neil Back pushed over Lander landing himself a six month ban.

From 1999 to 2002, under the captaincy of Martin Johnson and the management of Dean Richards, who became Director of Rugby for the club in February 1998, they won four consecutive Premiership titles and the first Zürich Championship play-offs, bringing their total of league championships to 6 — tied with Bath for most wins.

They also won the Heineken Cup in 2001 and 2002 — the only side to date who have managed to win the competition in consecutive seasons. Leicester defeated Stade Français (34-30) in 2001, and Munster (15-9) in 2002.

Leicester during this time had a very good home record; they went 57 games unbeaten at home in a period that stretched from 30 December 1997 to 30 November 2002 and included 52 successive wins. During these four seasons Leicester lost only 14 games out of the 92 they played.

In the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the club had seven representatives in the winning England squad: Martin Johnson (captain), Neil Back, Martin Corry, Ben Kay, Lewis Moody, Dorian West and Julian White. However whilst these players were away Leicester's form suffered and they were 11th in the league and dumped out of the Heineken cup in the group stages when they decided to sack Dean Richards.

In John Wells' first full season in charge of the team Leicester finished the regular season top of the league, also progressing to the semi-final of the Heineken cup before defeat to Toulouse at the Walkers Stadium. In Martin Johnson and Neil Back's last game for Leicester they lost the Premiership Final to Wasps. After this game John Wells left Leicester to take up a position in the RFU's coaching academy, eventually rising to England forwards coach.

In 2005-6, the Tigers finished second to the Sale Sharks in the league before losing to the same team in the Premiership final. They again proceeded to the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup, again they lost at the Walkers Stadium to Bath. In the new Anglo-Welsh Cup Leicester won their group but lost in the semi-finals to Wasps at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Over the summer of 2006, they added a number of promising forwards especially Jordan Crane, the Number 8, who arrived from Leeds Tykes with a good reputation following the U21 World Cup in France.

Leicester won their first piece of silverware for five years on 15 April 2007, beating the Ospreys 41-35 with tries from Tom Varndell, Tom Croft, Ben Kay and Alesana Tuilagi to win the EDF Energy Cup at Twickenham Stadium. This was quickly repeated with Guinness Premiership success on May 12 at Twickenham with a 44-16 win over Gloucester. However Leicester failed to win an unprecedented treble, by losing the Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham on May 20 to London Wasps.

It was announced on December 28 2006 that the current head coach Pat Howard would leave the club at the end of the season, to return to his native Australia. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/leicester/content/articles/2006/12/28/pat_howard_leaving_feature.shtml Howard returns home] - BBC News, December 28th] . He was succeeded by the then-head coach of nrut|Argentina, Marcelo Loffreda after the 2007 Rugby World Cup. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/my_club/leicester/6576815.stm Loffreda named as new Tigers boss] - BBC News, April 25, 2007]

Leicester hold the record for the biggest wins in both the Heineken Cup (90-19 demolition of Glasgow in 1997), and the Guinness Premiership (83-10 defeat of Newcastle Falcons in 2005).

On June 08, Marcelo Loffreda was fired as coach of the Tigers after losing the Guinness Premiership Championship Final against London Wasps.

tadium

The club plays its home games at Welford Road Stadium, the address of which is actually Aylestone Road. The ground was opened in 1892 and the first stands accommodated 1100 spectators. The Members' and Crumbie Stands were built after WW1. The Alliance and Leicester Stand was opened at the Welford Road end in 1995. The total ground capacity is currently 17,498 (2008-2009 season).

On 23 November 2004, the club announced that it had entered into a 50-50 joint venture with the city's main football club, Leicester City F.C., to purchase City's current ground, Walkers Stadium. If the purchase had gone through, the Tigers would have surrendered their lease on Welford Road and moved into Walkers Stadium. [http://www.rugbyrugby.com/TOURNAMENTS/Zuric_Premiership/Tournament_News/story_40106.shtml] However, after several months of talks, the two clubs could not agree as to which side would have priority at Walkers Stadium, and they ended any groundshare plans in July 2005. [http://www.rugbyrugby.com/news/story_44750.shtml]

On June 11 2007 the club announced plans that it was working with AFL, who were involved in redeveloping Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium for a redevelopment plan which will raise the capacity of their Welford Road stadium from 16,815 to 25,000 by 2011.

A new temporary stand at the clubhouse end increased the ground capacity to 17.498 from the 2007-2008 season.

On February 20 2008 Leicester Tigers received planning consent for the £60million redevelopment of their Welford Road home.The first phase of the development would include space for 10,500 supporters in a new North Stand (Granby Halls side), taking capacity up from the present 17,498 to 23,500. After full renovation it will have a capacity of 30,000. [http://www.tigers.co.uk/29_10548.php]

Premiership playoffs

In the last two seasons Leicester have finished in the playoffs of the Premiership, finishing first in 2004-5 and second in 2005-6. On both occasions they reached the final at Twickenham and lost — in 2005 to London Wasps and in 2006 to Sale Sharks.

On May 5 2007, Leicester defeated Bristol 26-14 to reach the Premiership playoff final for the third consecutive year, where they defeated Gloucester 44-16 at Twickenham to win their first ever title via the playoffs. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/6649519.stm BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | Gloucester v Leicester - as it happened ] ] .

On May 18 2008, Leicester defeated Gloucester at Kingsholm to become the first team to win a Guinness Premiership semi-final playoff away from home.

Current Standings

Players

Current squad

rugby squad player | nat=ENG | pos=N8 | name=Martin Corry (c)

Current England Elite Squad

* George Chuter
* Jordan Crane
* Tom Croft
* Harry Ellis
* Toby Flood
* Dan Hipkiss
* Lewis Moody
* Tom Varndell

Notable former internationals

* Garry Adey
* Neil Back (B&I Lions)
* Richard Cockerill
* Martin Corry (B&I Lions)
* Leo Cullen
* Les Cusworth
* Paul Dodge (B&I Lions)
* Perry Freshwater
* Darren Garforth
* Will Greenwood (B&I Lions)
* Andy Goode
* Dusty Hare (B&I Lions)
* Austin Healey (B&I Lions)
* Pat Howard
* Fritz van Heerden
* Shane Jennings
* Martin Johnson (B&I Lions)
* Craig Joiner
* Josh Kronfeld
* Rod Kafer
* Dave Lougheed
* Leon Lloyd
* Eric Miller (B&I Lions)
* Darren Morris (B&I Lions)
* Tony O'Reilly (B&I Lions)
* Alexander Obolensky
* Ramiro Pez
* Steve Redfern
* Dean Richards (B&I Lions)
* Marcus Rose
* Graham Rowntree (B&I Lions)
* Waisale Serevi
* flagicon|Ireland|rugby Brian Smith
* Ollie Smith (B&I Lions)
* Winston Stanley
* Tim Stimpson (B&I Lions)
* Joel Stransky
* Ephraim Taukafa
* Frank Tournaire
* Freddie Tuilagi
* Henry Tuilagi
* Anitelia Tuilagi
* Rory Underwood (B&I Lions)
* Tony Underwood (B&I Lions)
* John Welborn
* Dorian West (B&I Lions)
* Peter Wheeler (B&I Lions)
* Clive Woodward (B&I Lions)
* Nick Youngs

International captains

* J.E. Greenwood (England in 1920)
* W.W. Wakefeild (England in 1924)
* F.D. Prentice (Lions 1930)
* B.C. Gadney (England 1934-36)
* D.A. Kendrew (England in 1935)
* Peter Wheeler (England 1983-84)
* Paul Dodge (England in 1985)
* Martin Johnson (England 1999-2003, Lions 1997, 2001)
* Neil Back (England)
* Dorian West (England)
* Martin Corry (England 2005-07)

Captains

*B .V.D. Zweth
* A. E. Brice
* A.T. Porter
* L. Young
* J.G.S. Coleman
* W.A. Sheffield
* J. Parsons
* R.S. Snowden
* W.R. Porter
* A McKechnie
* W.H. Sturges
* A.E. Cooke
* E. Redman
* A.O. Jones
* W.J Foreman
* J.W. Garner
* S. Matthews
* R.F. Russell
* J.R Watson
* P.W. Lawrie
* W.J. Allen
* W.W. Wakefield
* H.L.V. Day
* F.D. Prentice
* H.D. Greenless
* D.J. Norman
* R.A. Buckingham
* B.C. Gadney
* R.J Barr
* J.T.W. Berry
* H.P. Jerwood
* A.C. Towell
* D. Goves
* W.K.T. Moore
* A.D. Bolesworth
* J.M. Jenkins
* J. Elders
* T. Bleasdale
* J.S. Swan
* C.G. Martin
* M.R. Wade
* M.J. Harrison
* D.J. Matthews
* G.G. Willars
* K.P. Andrews
* John Allen
* R.V. Grove
* Peter Wheeler
* R.S. Money
* Bob Rowell
* B.P. Hall
* Steve Johnson
* Ian 'Dosser' Smith
* Les Cusworth
* Paul Dodge
* John Wells
* Dean Richards
* Martin Johnson
* Neil Back/Josh Kronfeld
* Martin Corry / *Austin Healey
* Martin Corry

Coaches

* Heyneke Meyer Head Coach
** Richard Cockerill, Forwards Coach
** Matt O'Connor, Backs coach
** TBC Defensive coach

Club honours

* English Premierships: 1988, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007
* Anglo-Welsh Cups: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1993, 1997, 2007
* Heineken Cup: 2001, 2002
* Middlesex 7s: 1995

References

External links

* [http://www.tigers.co.uk Leicester Tigers Homepage]
* [http://www.theleicestertigers.com Fansite]
* [http://www.tigerscast.net Leicester Tigers Podcasts]
* [http://worldstadia.com/stadium/England/Welford%20Road/4.php Welford Road Stadium] Information & Gallery
* [http://www.guinnesspremiership.com/124_106.php Guinness Premiership Page]


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