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International flavour to Tigers Rugby Course

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The first Leicester Tigers Rugby Course of the summer has taken on an international feel with young players travelling from overseas to take part.

Tigers coaches have been putting dozens of young players through their paces at Ratcliffe College including some who have travelled from Ireland, Spain and Dubai.

Tom Higgins, 15, of County Kildare in Ireland is combining a visit to his aunt’s in Newtown Linford, Leicestershire with a week-long stay at the Tigers camp

It is Tom’s fourth time on the Ratcliffe College course and he has travelled over with his 15-year-old school friend Hugh O’Donnell.

Tom, who plays at Geordan Murphy’s former club Naas and is a pupil at Murphy's old school Newbridge College, said: “The course is great for improving your all-round skills and covers the whole skill set. It also gives you a great insight into a rugby club and what is involved."

Hugh added: “It’s been very good and, as well as working on new aspects of your game, it is developing the skills you already have.”

Rodrigo Munguia, 15, plays for Alcobendes Rugby in Madrid. He said: “The course is hard and tiring and it is really good.

“The standard of rugby is excellent and the coaches are good. The coaches do lots of technical work and I have really improved in a couple of days.”

Also on the course is 15-year-old Sam Bullock, who lives in Dubai and is taking part on the course for a second time.

He said: “My parents are from England and we have come over. I love my rugby so I am doing the course for the week. It gives you a lot to learn and the coaches are excellent.”

The young players were given the chance to question first-team stars Dan Hipkiss and Ben Woods when they dropped in on Wednesday afternoon.

The Tigers players were questioned on all aspects of life as a professional player from their diet and fitness regime to favourite and worst moments in the sport.

Tigers Rugby Courses continue next week at Oakham School, where Matt Smith and Ben Pienaar are due to drop in, and at Swaffham RUFC, where Richard Blaze is scheduled to visit.

There are further camps in Leicestershire at Coalville and Lutterworth rugby clubs (both August 9-13) while Tigers will run a first ever course at Market Rasen and Louth RFC from August 16-20. There will also be camps at Stafford, Derby, Leamington, Swaffham, Burton, Sleaford and North Walsham rugby clubs and Stamford School.

The courses are supported by energy efficiency specialists Mark Group. They are aimed at players involved in contact rugby from under-nines through to under-16s. Everyone who attends will receive a free ticket to a first-team game at Welford Road, as well as a Tigers Rugby Course T-shirt, rugby ball and drinks bottle, plus a hot, healthy lunch each day and a personal assessment and feedback form.

For a full list of courses and to book a place visit the community section of the Tigers website at www.leicestertigers.com/rugbycourses or call 0844 856 1880.

Mark Group is running an exclusive scheme with the RFU, donating £25 to grassroots rugby clubs for every cavity wall or loft insulation measure it installs. Visit www.markgroup.co.uk/rugby for more information.