West Country Wills Preview: Leicester Lions vs Taunton

Article published:
March 14, 2024

When the bottom two sides in National League One met last Saturday it was a test of who needed the points more. Level pegging for a good deal of the game, Bishop’s Stortford proved to be the XV with greater control of their nerve and better execution of their skills. The Hertfordshire side pulled away to a 26-45 victory that lifts them to eleventh in the table but leaves Taunton Titans in a perilous position, five points behind Cinderford – who lost 26-14 at Birmingham Moseley – and seven behind Leicester Lions who occupy the magic safety spot in twelfth. Leicester lost 35-7 at Rosslyn Park but, as fortune would have it, they are Titans’ opponents this coming Saturday.


Chinnor remain top of the table after triumphing 5-26 against Plymouth Albion in Devon and saw their lead increase because Rams were beaten at home, 19-36, by Sale FC who have now found some form and appear to be pulling away from the threat of relegation. The closest result of the day was at Sedgely Park where the home side was pipped by Darlington Mowden Park 31-34, lifting the North Easterners into the top six.


This Saturday Titans will travel for the first time to Leicester Lions. The Lions are in their first season at this level, having been promoted as winners of last season’s National League Two West. Founded as recently as 1998 when two local clubs merged, this is the closest the Lions have been in the league structure to their city neighbours, Leicester Tigers.


The Lions visited Taunton in November and left with the chocolates, beating Titans 17-27. Amongst their leading lights on that occasion was Lewis Chessum, captain of England U20s and younger brother of Ollie.


For a young club, Leicester Lions can boast quite a line-up of alumni. World Cup winning England captain Martin Johnson and England internationals Louis Deacon and Billy Twelvetrees have all worn the club’s purple strip. They are now coached by Gareth Collins who made in excess of 200appearances for the club and is a former Lions captain.


Both sides could name Dan Martin at inside centre with the Lions version being a former captain of the Leicestershire side with over 100 caps for the club to his name whilst the Ulsterman lines up for Titans on his return to the county where he went to university.  


Warriors, 24-10 winners at home against Imperial, maintained a nine-point lead at the top of Counties Tribute Two Somerset with four games to play. They host Taunton neighbours Huish Tigers at Veritas Park on Saturday.


Entrance to Leicester Lions RFC’s Westleigh Park ground is on Lutterworth Road in Blaby just to the South of Leicester. Car parking is available at the ground. A pre-match lunch is available for £30 plus gate entry fee. Book via this link: https://form.jotform.com/233602832637355. Kick-off is at the earlier time of 2.00pm.

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Article published by:

Richard Kitzinger


Rugby fan and Taunton resident, Richard loves watching Titans and creates written content for the rugby club.