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Rugby News

Future Leicester Resident: Leah Bartlett

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Leicester Tigers can confirm the signing of Leah Bartlett ahead of the 2023/24 season.

The 24-year-old joins Tigers from Loughborough Lightning whom she represented in the Premier 15s .

Bartlett began her rugby journey at Loughborough Rugby aged just 5 years old, progressing through the ranks at the club, whilst also playing for Loughborough College and then Loughborough University before finally progressing through to Lightning. 

The self-described ‘rugby nause’ made 56 appearances in the Premier 15s for the East-Midlands club and featured for the club from their inception in 2017, the first ever season of the Premier 15s.  Playing in the club’s inaugural fixture, she has the distinction of holding Lightning heritage number #001. 

However, it’s Tigers that the young prop holds in her heart; when asked about joining the club, Bartlett said she was “Looking forward to the next step on my journey and representing Leicester Tigers, a team that I have supported since being a wee girl.” 

The loosehead prop is also a Scotland international and starred in this year's TikTok Six Nations. The front-row started every game for the Scots and was a real workhorse for the side, consistently racking up numbers in both tackles and carries; across the tournament she recorded 47 in the former category and 32 in the latter.   

An established international, with 26 caps for Scotland, Bartlett has also begun to demonstrate a try-scoring instinct on the big stages: of her four international tries, three were in her last two appearances and they were often the difference maker in important wins. In both of Scotland’s victories in the Six Nations Bartlett scored, bulldozing over in the victory over Ireland and bagging a quickfire brace in the tight 29-21 win over Italy. 

When asked to describe her game, Bartlett added “I like to think I’m hard working and passionate. Love a scrum. I’m a bit of a rugby nause and have an attention to detail.”

That assertion is backed up by former Scotland coach Phillip Doyle, who, when asked about Bartlett following her start in a 2021 Six Nations game against Ireland, said “I’ve been unbelievably impressed with Leah since she came into the group. She’s got a young head on her shoulders, but she knows her rugby inside out, especially technically at set-piece time.”

Head of Women's Rugby Vicky Macqueen echoed the sentiment. "I'm very happy that Leah will be joining the team. She has competed in the Premier 15's since the competition started and her experience and rugby brain will be invaluable. She will add power to the front row, bolster the set-piece and be a key cog in some Tigers rolling mauls!" 

Following the signings of Megan Jones and Celia Quansah, the Scottish International is looking forward to representing the club as they look to navigate the Premier 15s for the first time. “I’ve met a lot of the players and they seem like a very close nit group with a huge amount of potential, I’m excited to get stuck in!”