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Hardwick embracing leadership experience

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Tom Hardwick is excited for the chance to captain a Tigers side for the first time when the fly-half leads a team mixed with handful of exciting Leicester youngsters at the Greene King IPA 7s on Sunday at Bury St Edmunds RUFC.

Hardwick is joined in the team by Will Evans and Fred Tuilagi as the 'senior' figures in the group with the remaining members of the 13-man squad all graduates from the club's academy programme in the previous two years - as well as guest player Joe Margetts from Hartpury.

"To captain any team in a Tigers shirt is a big honour, I'm going to embrace the chance to lead a young team and am excited to be able to help them on Sunday as a leader in the group," said Hardwick.

The Leicester development squad and England U20s fly-half has 13 appearances in the senior side since debuting in November 2017 and added 11 of those during this season under Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy.

As he tells LeicesterTigers.com, it isn't as much as he might have hoped to appear but has enjoyed the opportunities he has been afforded in the top grade as well as those he has had in the Premiership Shield.

"I haven't played as much rugby as I might have liked, but I have learned a lot through the season and it has been a good test and good for my development," said the 20 year old.

"The Shield and Cup competitions have been good for me in learning how to direct a team and I've enjoyed the challenges."

What can we expect of the live wire halfback on Sunday afternoon in the shortened of the game?

Well, the confident youngster is hopeful his willingness to attack and eager team-mates will suit the sevens format - and is looking forward to learning what he can from two true Tigers in Matt Smith (head coach) and Dusty Hare (team manager) on Sunday.

"I don't know if I am made for Sevens, but I like to attack and play exciting rugby so with more space and a lot of players who enjoy playing that style should be good fun," he said.

"Smithy and Dusty [Hare] both know a lot and their experience will be good to learn from on Sunday - it will be good fun and that's why we play the game, because we enjoy it."