James joined the Tigers in the summer of 2002 from Northampton Saints after returning from South Africa where he had travelled with England for the U21 IRB World Championship. He made his first appearance in Tigers stripes in the Middlesex Sevens tournament at Twickenham in August 2002, then joined the first team at their training camp in France, playing in the friendly match against Agen.
A regular member of Tigers’ league winning U21 team in 2002/03, James’ 12 tries made him the U21s top try-scorer that season. The opportunity to progress in the first team was hampered when he broke his leg during a training session at the start of the 2003/04 season.
He returned to the fray in February playing six games for Tigers Extras in the Zurich A League, before heading south in the off-season to hone his skills in New Zealand’s North Island, playing for the Tawa club near Wellington. He returned in time to make his Leicester first-team debut at the start of last season and has since started in five senior games and come off the bench on 17 further occasions.
He was also a member of Tigers’ Extras squad that won the Zurich A League championship 2004/05.