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Leicester Tigers confirm 21/22 coaching team

Leicester Tigers can confirm Steve Borthwick’s coaching team ahead of the 2021/22 season.

Borthwick continues in his role as Head Coach, in charge of the senior programme as well as leading on the lineout and the forwards. 

Assisting him with the forwards is Brett Deacon, who is also responsible for breakdown skills. 

Deacon will also continue to work closely with members of the Tigers Senior Academy.

In his second full season with the Tigers, Borthwick welcomes two new additions to his coaching team in Kevin Sinfield and Richard Wigglesworth

Sinfield, who made the cross-code switch last month, joins the club to lead the Leicester defence after a decorated career in rugby league on and off the field.

Wigglesworth, who last season became the first player in Premiership history to surpass 300 league appearances, links up with Matt Smith to lead the Leicester attack. 

A six-time Premiership Rugby and three-time European Champions Cup winner, Wigglesworth will share his time between playing and coaching for the upcoming campaign.

Smith, who made 228 appearances for Tigers and featured in four Premiership-winning campaigns, began last season as the Tigers Academy head coach before being promoted to Borthwick’s senior team.

Smith and scrum coach Tom Harrison, who was also promoted last season, agreed new deals with the club in the summer.

Harrison continues in his role as the club’s Scrum Coach, which extends beyond the senior squad into the Tigers academy programme and Performance Partnership with Nottingham Rugby.

Aled Walters, who joined Tigers alongside Borthwick in July 2020 after playing a key role in South Africa’s World Cup-winning campaign, continues as Head of Physical Performance.

In addition to coaching responsibilities, Walters oversees the club’s Strength & Conditioning, Sports Science and Medical departments.

Speaking about the coaching team assembled ahead of the new campaign, Borthwick said: “I feel very privileged to be able to lead a coaching team of the quality we have brought together ahead of this new season.

“I think everybody has seen the impact of Aled Walters in a very short time at Leicester Tigers; his energy, enthusiasm and unique ability to get more from a player is an integral part to the journey we are on at the club.

“The additions of Kevin and Richard, two men who are unrivalled in their respective fields in terms of success, are important pieces to what we are continuing to build here at Leicester Tigers.

“Kevin and Richard are not only proven winners, they are two of the hardest-working individuals I have worked with and driven to continue to improve and learn every day.

“Richard will balance playing and coaching roles and I’m excited for what we believe is an innovative appointment to continue to develop this season.

“Brett Deacon is a passionate, hard-working clubman who continues to grow as a coach and I feel very fortunate to have a person of his quality and character in our coaching team, who adds immensely to the programme. 

“Both Matt and Tom were moved into senior rugby at the beginning of last season and took the opportunity with both hands, becoming important parts of our coaching team.

“I am looking forward to seeing them, and all of our whole coaching team, continue to evolve and improve this season.

“We have laid some good foundations during our first season together and, with the additions of Kevin and Richard, built on that work during what has been the first pre-season we have had together as a group.

“However, while we have done a lot of hard work, there is still plenty of potential for growth in this playing – and coaching – group this season.”

Borthwick will also have the support of Craig Hammond, the Nottingham Rugby Head Coach, on a weekly basis as part of the clubs’ co-operation agreement announced last month.

Leicester Tigers will announce a new-look academy programme coaching team in the coming days.