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Developing Player Programme (DPP)

Leicester Tigers Developing Player Programme


Leicester Tigers Academy operates eight DPP centres across a geographical region that covers Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and Norfolk.

The DPP is a major step on the elite player pathway. Players are selected from this programme into the full Tigers Academy.

All centres are managed by a head coach, with support coaches, who operate a curriculum focused on four key rugby elements (Breakdown, Tackle Technique, Catch & Pass and Game Sense). This programme in line with our holistic approach from will incorporate a physical literacy element, coached by Strength & Conditioning coaches, to complement the rugby development. This will ensure our aspiring young players are suitably educated and equipped with the essential physical foundations for professional sport.

DPP Locations

Region Covered Location Head Coach
Leicestershire Leicester Grammar School Troy Thacker
North Derbyshire Mount St Marys College
North Lincolnshire Market Rasen & Louth RFC Mick Kemp
Nottinghamshire Newark RFC Peter Cook
South Lincolnshire Spalding RFC Glenn Gelderbloom
Norfolk Easton College Tim Malone
Staffordshire (1) Longton RFC Simon Robson
Staffordshire (2) Walsall RFC Anthony Nixon

Talent Identification

A player who is identified as showing the potential to become a future Leicester Tigers player will be invited to attend one of the eight centres, whichever is located nearest to them.

Players still continue to play for their schools and club sides as well as CB representative sides during their time within the DPP.

Assessment process

All players within the programme are observed and assessed across all components of performance at their centre. Specific feedback is given via the Head Coach and suitable development plans structured and implemented.

Players are recommended from their individual centres and invited to attend a number of skill and game assessments under the eye of the Academy staff.

Exit routes

Players are invited to attend the DPP for one season at a time. Feedback and de-selection is managed by the Head Coach or coaches from that centre. When players are deselected we always monitor their progress through our scouting network and some players are invited back into the programme at a later stage.

Under-16 Year

This is an important year for all under-16 players within the DPP programme. All players are expected to be available for CB selection and other representative sides. Priority will be given to the national selection programme throughout this year.

At times we have still invited players into the full programme who are not selected for their individual CB side or, indeed, do not progress beyond that stage.

Players that are not invited into the full Academy or Talent ID U17 group will be released from the DPP programme to concentrate on their studies, normally towards the end of January.

If you have any queries regarding the DPP please contact DPP@tigers.co.uk

Academy Trials

We do not hold open trials for entry into the Academy programme. Most players are selected from our DPP Centres.

However, we operate an extensive scouting network that refers players directly to the Academy for consideration. While we recognise that some players develop late, the entry standard is extremely high for a trial opportunity.

For further information regarding a trial period please email:

DPP@tigers.co.uk for players aged 14-16 or Brett.deacon@tigers.co.uk for players aged over 16.

If you are looking to join a club then we suggest you contact Jenna Studley, the RFU Rugby Development Officer (RDO) for Leicestershire. She has links with all local clubs and would be able to recommend a club that fits your needs. For further information email jennastudley@rfu.com

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