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Former Tiger nurturing national talent

Former Leicester Tigers lock Joe Cain is expanding his coaching credentials after being named as head coach of Belgium’s Under-18s side.

Cain, who played five seasons in Leicester colours after graduating from the Tigers Academy in 2009, transitioned into coaching as a Rugby Development Officer in the club’s community department following an injury-enforced retirement from playing in 2014.

Since then, the former second-rower has built up coaching experience with St Martin’s Ampleforth in North Yorkshire, before making the move to South East Asia to take up a role with Tigers Global Partner Club, KL Tigers, as well as the British International School of Kuala Lumpur.

After two seasons in Malaysia, Cain took the reins at fellow Global Partner Club Dendermonde RFC in 2018 and guided the first team to Belgian Cup glory last season.

He will continue his head coach role at Dendermonde while working with the national side’s young players.

“I was asked by the Belgian Federation if I’d be interested in the role, and it fits in perfectly with the Dendermonde season, so luckily I can do both,” Cain explained.

“The season for the Belgian U18s team all leads up to the European Championships in Russia next Easter, so that will be a great tour.

“We have a big training squad to play friendlies against Holland and Germany, and then it’ll be into our European Championships squad the closer we get to the tournament.”

And after guiding Dendermonde to their third Belgian Cup title in 2018/19, Cain is equally excited for the domestic season ahead.

“Dendermonde is going great guns,” he said. “Our pre-season fixtures start at the end of August, and then we get into our competition proper in mid-September.

“I’m looking forward to the start of the season!”

Find out more about Tigers’ Global Partner Clubs, including Dendermonde RFC, using the links below.