Dave made his first-team debut against local rivals Northampton Saints in December 2005 having joined the club’s academy set-up the previous year. At the beginning of the new season, Dave had four first-team appearances to his name having started once and come off the replacements bench twice in 2006/07. During that year, Dave had a spell on loan with Edinburgh Rugby in his native Scotland before returning to Tigers to play an important role in the Development XV’s triumph in the Guinness A League Northern Conference. His first start for Tigers came in the EDF Energy Cup match at Northampton in December of 2006.
The tighthead was originally spotted by Tigers while gaining representative age-group honours with Scotland, having also attended Murray Mexted’s International Rugby Academy in New Zealand. He was won international recognition for his country in both the U-19 World Cup in South Africa in 2004 and the U-21 World Championship in France two years later.