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Key quartet keen to build on Tigers experience

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It's been like Terminal One at Welford Road this week with players checking into Arrivals and Departures.

The announcement of new signings is an exciting point in the year, and this time last year we were hearing about the imminent arrival of World Cup winner JP Pietersen. Well there’s been no word on any newcomers for 2017/18 just yet, but four big names retained is a pretty good start.
You would expect that all four – Graham Kitchener, Peter Betham, Will Evans and Dom Barrow – would have plenty of options if they wanted to move on but are happy to remain at Tigers who announced their agreements over new contracts this week.
Even with the uncertainty of what happens next in terms of the director of rugby and the coaching team, the quartet still believe this is the best place for them. The Tig agrees too.
They may not be All Star imports but it is worth noting just how important all four are to the Tigers camp and the ‘Leicester way’.
Kitchener offers something a bit different to the rest of the second rows and has become one of the top lineout operators in Premiership rugby, while Betham has hardly missed a game for us since he arrived from Australia – a quality that is in short supply in other parts of the squad – and his versatility has helped paper over the cracks formed by some high-profile absentees in the backline.
Barrow is a grafter in the engine room of the pack and has already been identified in some quarters as captaincy material in the best traditions of Tigers second rows, and specialist openside Evans is among the brightest prospects in the English game, so packed with potential that Eddie Jones brought the teenager into the national squad frame on the basis of a handful of senior games.
The signing of all four has been welcomed by the fans. To know four key men are already over the line is important.
It wasn’t quite #magicmonday (it was Wednesday) but the news did help to cheer us up, especially after learning of the departure of Owen Williams and Fraser Balmain next season. Both have given good service for the club, both have been popular with the fans and they will go with everyone’s best wishes. But first they’ve got four months’ work to go out on the best note possible.