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Rugby News

Leicester Tigers lock in Assistant Coaches

Leicester Tigers have agreed new deals with Assistant Coaches Tom Harrison and Matt Smith ahead of the 2021/22 season. 

The pair began the 2020/21 campaign as part of the club’s academy programme coaching team before stepping up to roles in Steve Borthwick’s senior coaching set-up.

They are hard-working, enthusiastic coaches, who are committed to their development and the journey we are on at Tigers

Steve Borthwick

Harrison played professional rugby in England and France, including an appearance for Barbarians FC, before moving into coaching full-time in 2015.

After working in community coaching roles with Bristol Bears and Bath Rugby, in 2016 he was appointed Programme Lead and Men’s Rugby Head Coach at Loughborough College.

In 2017, Harrison joined Leicester Tigers as part of the academy coaching team and AASE Programme Manager with the club’s partner Brooksby Melton College, helping lead the Tigers to three successive Under-18 League titles.

He will continue in the role as Scrum Coach in the senior coaching team, after initially taking on the job on an interim basis in November 2020.

Smith, who made 228 appearances for Leicester Tigers, moved into coaching after retiring from playing in 2019.

He originally came through the Tigers Academy and impressed at A-League level before being handed his senior club debut against the Barbarians in 2006. 

In 14 seasons in the senior squad, Smith won four Premiership and three Anglo-Welsh Cup titles, and gained England Saxons selection.

In his debut season as Head Coach of the Tigers Academy, he helped lead the side to its third successive Under-18 League title.

Smith joined Borthwick’s coaching team on an interim basis in November 2020 and will continue in the role as Assistant Coach for the senior squad.

Speaking about Harrison and Smith, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “Tom and Matt have made great progress this season and been valuable members of the Leicester Tigers coaching team.”

“They are hard-working, enthusiastic coaches, who are committed to their development and the journey we are on at Tigers.”

Harrison and Smith’s new deals see the pair continue in their roles alongside Brett Deacon and the newly-appointed Kevin Sinfield, as well as Head of Physical Performance Aled Walters, as assistant coaches to Steve Borthwick from next season. 

Mike Ford, as confirmed earlier today, will leave his role at Leicester after two years at the club.