Leicester Tigers have re-signed front rower James Whitcombe.
The Tigers Academy graduate’s new deal with the club in a season that has seen the 20-year-old make his senior debuts in both Premiership and European rugby.
Whitcombe was a member of the Tigers Academy squads that celebrated back-to-back Under-18 League title wins in 2017/18 and 2018/19, before received an England Under-18s call-up.
Promoted to the club’s senior programme ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, the loosehead prop spent the summer of 2019 on a player-exchange visit with Sydney University in Australia.
Speaking about the re-signing of Whitcombe, Leicester Tigers coach Steve Borthwick said: “I have been very pleased with the development of James and his effort in developing his game to the level required at senior level, so it is very pleasing to see him rewarded with a new contract.
“He is a promising young front-rower who is very diligent in his work and I am confident he will continue to improve if he keeps up the level of professionalism he has shown since stepping up from the Tigers Academy.
“James has shown a huge commitment to not only improving himself but contributing to what we are building at Leicester Tigers and is very passionate about representing the club.”
Discussing his decision to re-sign with Tigers, Whitcombe said he wanted to be a part of the culture created by Borthwick.
“I am really enjoying being a part of this environment and working under Steve,” said Whitcombe.
“The club has undergone a lot of changes recently and there is a competing culture, a winning culture, of which I want to be a part of and keep learning and developing within.
“I am getting the experience of working against Dan Cole and Joe Heyes and, whenever I get the shot, I am ready to take it.
“When I first came in, it was a bit of a shock to the system training alongside the guys we have in the front-row and now I want to be competing with them a spot in the team.”
Whitcombe’s re-signing follows the announcement that Scotland international Darryl Marfo has joined Leicester Tigers on a short-term contract.