Club chairman Peter Tom says the young players in the Leicester Tigers squad will take a lot from their experiences in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
Writing in his programme notes for Friday’s Round 3 fixture against Sale Sharks, he says: “To have 12 academy graduates in the squad in each of the opening two rounds is very rewarding for the staff involved in the player pathway and it forms an essential part of our recruitment and retention each season.
“We have viewed the knockout competition as the perfect stage to give players an opportunity in a competitive environment outside of the cut and thrust of Premiership Rugby and it is good to see Tommy Reffell, Joe Heyes, Sam Lewis, Jake Kerr and others have a chance to gain valuable gametime.
“They will all learn for the experience – good or bad – and we hope we see them all build on those early performances as they grow and mature within the system here.”
Looking at the Cup fixture two days ahead of Remembrance Sunday, Tom adds: “Today is our closest home fixture to the 100th anniversary commemorations of the end of World War One. It is also our Uniformed Forces Day here at Welford Road.
“The club has always had a close association with the Forces and the regiment which shares our name and, as this is the centenary of the Armistice, today we also remember the 46 Tigers players who lost their lives in the world wars in a special presentation ahead of kick-off.”
The Tigers matchday programme is available throughout the stadium, price £3.