Tampin poised to hit 50-game milestone
The 30-year-old made his 49th outing from the bench during last weekend’s 45-10 victory at Worcester Warriors, with the tight-head admitting his impending appearance milestone had come as news to him.
“I didn’t realise I was up for my 50 until our media manager asked to interview me about it, but it’s a nice marker to reach if I’m involved in the game,” said Tampin, who has played 19 times this season.
“Hopefully I’ll get another 50, because I’m really enjoying being at the club.
“I joined in the summer of 2019 when we’d just been relegated to the Championship, we got promoted that first season, and then I think last season was a bit of a transition year for me with stepping up a division for the first time.”
Having been at Ealing, Jersey, Rotherham and Leeds in the Championship, he said: “It took a bit of adjusting to become a Premiership player, but I feel like I’ve made progress this season.
“I’ve had a few more Premiership starts, and when I’ve been on the bench I’ve had more minutes when I’ve come on, so it’s nice to have that trust from the coaches.
“We sat down at the end of last season and talked about what they wanted me to change, and I’ve implemented that during pre-season. Things have taken off to a degree from there, and it’s really helped me.”
Insisting the squad would not be getting carried away with last weekend’s six-try triumph at Worcester as they head into European competition on Saturday, he said: “It’s been a frustrating couple of months because we’ve had good patches in games, shown what we can do, but then not managed to get the result over the line.
“We’ve been sitting in the review meetings saying ‘if we could just do that for 80 minutes we’d be fine’ so it’s nice to finally have a day where most things came off for us. We know our lineout needs to improve from the weekend, although we did score one from a steal, and now it’s just a case of trying to do it on a much more regular basis.”
Hopeful that last weekend’s result can be the catalyst for more, Tampin added: “We know the results haven’t been good and we’re not getting carried away after one win, but if we can get a bit of a run going then we can still finish the season strongly.
“Everyone wants to put that middle part of the season to bed after the good start we made, and we’ve still got silverware to play for in Europe. The way the group is, we’re not in a bad position going into the Zebre game, and so we’re all just working to keep winning and keep getting home draws, where possible.
“The lads have identified this tournament as something we can win and something we really want to go for, and I’m sure the team selection will reflect that. Sometimes you use Europe to rest guys and save them for the league, but we’ll be going hard at this competition and looking to win the thing.
“We want to use this tournament to really get something out of the season, rather than feeling like we’ve wasted people’s time due to that dip we had in the middle.
“We’ve got four games left in the Premiership and potentially another five in Europe, and we’d all rather be playing nine games than five. We want to be involved in meaningful games rather than being sat doing nothing, and I’m sure our supporters would say the same.
“We’ve had a look at Zebre on the videos, and in some ways we’ve seen some similarities between them and Worcester, who we played last weekend. That said, we had a good training week last week and played well on Saturday, so we don’t want to be changing a load of things just for the sake of it.”
Saturday’s 8pm kick-off against Zebre is included on the 2021-22 season ticket.
Non-season ticket members can [**click here**] to book their place, with the same ticket also allowing entry into the 4.30pm kick-off between Newcastle Falcons A and Scottish side, Heriot’s.