Having won their last 12 matches, Tigers will be confident of providing stern opposition for their international opponents.
“It’s not often that you get the chance to play against international opposition so, when you have that chance, you have to do everything you can to enjoy it and learn from it,” says Tigers head of rugby development Andy Key. “The guys have definitely been looking forward to Sunday and I’m sure they’ll benefit greatly from playing at Welford Road and from the match itself.”
Tigers almost caused an upset the last time they appeared against a national side at Welford Road as they led France U-19 at half-time of October’s match before eventually losing out 44-27. As well as aiding the players’ overall development, the clash with the French was an experience that has helped the academy put together their impressive current run of form.
“The game against France last year was a massive plus for everyone involved,” says Key. “The lads put in a strong performance and they proved that they are a very talented bunch of guys. We hope they put together a similarly strong performance against England on Sunday.”
With entry free for all supporters, the academy coaching staff are hoping for a big turnout. Playing in front of large crowds is an important part of a young player’s development, meaning you can contribute to that progress by watching the club’s next generation of stars in action.
“We’ve talked about how important a big crowd is to the development of this club’s players in the Guinness A League and that’s no different when it comes to the Tigers Academy. A lot of our young players won’t be used to playing in front of large crowds, but it’s important that they learn to adapt to that kind of environment if they want to make it to the top of the game.”