Aviva Premiership
Newby hands Tigers a timely boost
ESPNscrum Staff
January 17, 2012
Leicester's Craig Newby, Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints, Aviva Premiership Semi-Final, Welford Road, Leicester, England, May 14, 2011
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Leicester back-row Craig Newby has played his first game of rugby in just under eight months when he turned out for the Tigers' Development XV on Monday.

The former All Blacks flanker was forced to undergo knee surgery in pre-season and last turned out for the Tigers against Saracens in last season's Aviva Premiership final. But he played for the Leicester second-string against Leeds Carnegie on Monday and was pleased to get some game time under his belt.

"It was good to be back out there playing," Newby said. "I would have loved to have been out there for longer and got more game time but we wanted to get 20 minutes out of the way and tick that off.

"We have done some great work with the strength and conditioning boys at Oval Park but you can't quite replicate a game in training. It was good to clear out and make tackles properly. My last game was the Aviva Premiership Final last season. It's been seven-and-a-half months and now I've had a taste of getting back into it I will be looking to build on that."

And the news will come as a welcome boost to the Tigers who suffered a huge defeat to Ulster last weekend. Leicester chairman Peter Tom lamented the absence of Newby and some of his other injured stars when discussing their exit from the Heineken Cup.

"I don't want to make excuses but we really missed Craig Newby, Jordan Crane, Manu Tuilagi and Louis Deacon whose physical games would have really suited that match in Ulster," Tom told the Leicester Mercury. "We are really gutted but the way to get that out of our system is to go on and win the Aviva Premiership."

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