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Crane in the running for top award

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Jordan Crane is in the running for a prestigious award.

The Leicester Tigers forward has been short-listed for the Sportsman of the Year category in the Leicester Mercury Sports Award.

The nomination comes after an excellent 12 months for the Tigers No8. Crane captained England Saxons to a 31-13 victory over Ireland A at Welford Road last February and was voted Most Valuable Player of the tournament following an impressive 2008 Churchill Cup campaign.

That form saw him picked by Martin Johnson for England’s Elite Player Squad and he made his Test debut as a second-half replacement in the autumn international against South Africa.

He has been in fine form for Tigers this season, scoring four tries in all competitions and helping the club to the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup and to challenge for the Guinness Premiership.

And he displayed his versatility two weeks ago by playing in the second row for the Saxons against Portugal.

Crane faces tough opposition for the trophy including boxer Rendall Munroe, the European super bantamweight champion, and Yusuf Saleh, a multi-gold medallist from the world of martial arts.

The winner will be announced at the Mercury Sports Awards, which will be held on Wednesday evening at Leicester’s Curve Theatre.