Will Leicester Tigers players competing in the Rugby World Cup affect their Premiership League performance?

By Dean Walker

With the Rugby World Cup taking place in France in less than a year, Leicester Tigers fans are waiting to see which of their players will be missing from the start of the 2023-24 Premiership season and whether that will affect their performance.

Currently, the England team are competing in the Autumn Nations Series, having just won against Japan last Saturday by a 39-point margin.

The squad of 37 has taken six of its players from the Tigers: Ben Youngs, Joe Heyes, Jack van Poortvliet, Freddie Steward, Guy Porter and Ellis Genge. Van Poortvliet, in only his second international game, had previously scored a try against Argentina.

Although people can only speculate what the England squad will look like next year, sending over six players like has been done for the Autumn Nations Series this year seems to be on trend. For both the 2011 and 2019 World Cups, six Tigers players attended, with 2015 only having three.


Losing around six players each World Cup shouldn’t drastically affect the Tigers, as in theory, these players should only miss out on the first few games of each season, as the World Cup runs through the month of October, but that doesn’t take into account the pivotal training sessions they may miss, or even the injuries they may sustain by playing in the World Cup, which will of course affect their performance for the rest of the year.

Looking at the previous twelve seasons of the Premiership, and the last three World Cups, there does seem to be a drop-off when it comes to points for the Tigers, but it’s not massive.

On average, the Tigers will earn around twelve less points following a World Cup, compared to any other season, which could cost them, twelve points was the difference between second and fourth place last season.

In short, losing players for the start of the year does cost the Tigers some, but without knowing how many Tiger players will be competing in the World Cup next year, it can’t be said yet how much they will feel the effect back home in Leicester.


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