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Costelow pays tribute to entire Academy squad

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Tigers Academy and Wales U20s back Sam Costelow says his side did well to ‘dig in deep’ in Sunday afternoon's U18 League Grand Final victory over Gloucester.

The young Leicester side – wearing traditional lettered shirts – led 24-0 at half time, and weathered late pressure to win 34-31 and take back-to-back titles at Allianz Park.

Costelow was front and centre in that early surge, scoring Tigers’ first try and scoring an additional 14 points with the boot.

“We spoke about it as a side, just starting really fast and getting out of the blocks,” Costelow told LTTV.

Tigers had previously defeated the same opposition on the same ground to take their first under-18 title last season.

Costelow continued: “They came at us quite hard in the second half like they did last year. There were obviously some tired bodies out there.

“We didn’t have the wind in the second half, kicks weren’t going to go as far, so we had to adapt and we had to kick high and compete.

“Obviously we got the result at the end which was a nice positive and shows all our hard work.”

The centre, who has linked up with Wales’ U20s Six Nations squad in recent weeks, was also keen to pay tribute to the wider Academy squad.

“It all starts from the week before,” he added. “Just digging in deep in training, learning patterns, and knowing your stuff. It’s a squad effort and not just the 23 on the day.

“We’re not going to be the same group [next year], so it’s our last game together and it’s always nice to get that result to remember in the years to come.

“I want to remember this day, and enjoy it while it lasts.”

Watch the full interview with Costelow immediately after the match below on LTTV.