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Rugby News

Leicester Tigers sign Anthony Watson

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Leicester Tigers will welcome Anthony Watson the club ahead of the 2022/23 season.

The England and British & Irish Lions international will move to Leicester from Bath.

Capable of playing at full-back, wing or outside-centre, Watson was born in Surrey and was a member of the London Irish academy before making his professional debut for The Exiles in 2011 and representing England at Under-20 level for the next two seasons.

He moved to Bath in 2013 and has since made more than 100 appearances for the club in the Premiership and European competitions.

He made his Test debut for England in 2014 against New Zealand at Twickenham and has made more than 50 international appearances, including at the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups.

He was also selected for back-to-back British & Irish Lions tours in 2017 and 2021.

Speaking about the addition of Watson, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “Anthony is a world-class player who has played at the highest levels of the game over a number of seasons.

“While he has reached great heights, he is incredibly keen to develop his game, remains ambitious and has a lot more he wants to achieve.

“I am fortunate to have worked with Anthony with the England team and on the British & Irish Lions tour in 2017 and have seen first-hand what a professional he is.

“It is very exciting to be adding a player and person of his calibre to what we are building at Leicester Tigers.”

Discussing the move to Tigers next season, Watson said: “The first word that comes to mind with Leicester Tigers is ‘tough’. It is a tough club, a tough group of people and to be a part of that kind of environment is the best thing for me.

“I want to be successful, of course, but I also want to improve as a player and Tigers is an environment where I believe I will be able to become the best player I can possibly be while, most importantly, being a part and contributing to the team being the best it can be.

“Having worked with him before, I know how Steve [Borthwick] goes about his business, and the opportunity to work with him, his coaching team and this group at Leicester Tigers is an exciting one.

Mattioli Woods Welford Road has always been a hostile place to play so it will definitely be nice to be on the right side of that with that incredible support behind you.

“I am someone who believes you have to earn your stripes every day in what you do. I won’t be resting on my laurels and will be working hard to earn the respect of my team-mates, coaches and Tigers supporters.”