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Legends inducted into Hall of Fame

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George Chuter says he is honoured by his induction into the Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame.

Chuter was welcomed into the elite club alongside fellow Leicester Tigers legends Lewis Moody and Martin Johnson as well as Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter, Ed Morrison, the former RFU head of elite referee development, and Tom Walkinshaw, the former chairman of Gloucester Rugby and Premier Rugby who passed away in 2010.

Chuter, who has made the most appearances in the history of Premiership Rugby with 262 games, including 194 for the Tigers, said: “I think it would be quite strange to see a Premiership Hall of Fame without a few Tigers in at least, given we have won the title ten times.

“It’s quite an honour, I won’t lie about that. I like the idea of it and it is taking shape nicely and in five or ten years’ time it will be something you can be really proud of.

“When you play as long as I have you are lucky enough to get a harvest of pleasing moments – obviously winning games and winning titles. But I would be hard-pressed to pick one out of a vast selection of them.

“It has been a great career – I have enjoyed myself immensely over the last 18 years.”

The England hooker, capped 24 times by his country, is still going strong at the age of 37 and is convinced the Aviva Premiership is still the best league in the world.

“I think it’s just the competitiveness of it all – anyone can win or lose on a day,” added Chuter, who has won six Premiership titles and two Anglo-Welsh cups with Tigers.

“It’s incredibly competitive and sides can turn sides over that shouldn’t even on paper be playing each other, almost.

“The English do that league system pretty well. We get very tribal about our teams and we get almost patriotic to a club, which sounds ridiculous but that is almost what it is.

“I think the players feed off that – the competition feeds off that.”

Former Tigers, England and British & Irish Lions captain Johnson can add his induction to every major honour in the game. 'Johnno' captained Tigers from 1997 to 2005, including a Cup Final victory in 1997, the historic run of four successive Premiership titles from 1999 and back-to-back wins in Europe's Heineken Cup in 2001 and 2002. He retired in 2005 after 361 games for Tigers, giving him 13th place on the club's all-time list.

Capped 84 times by England, he led the national side to their 2003 Rugby World Cup success in Australia.

His first tour with the British & Irish Lions came in 1993 and he became the first man to be named captain in two series, in 1997 (winning 2-1 in South Africa) and 2001.

He was named England team manager in 2008 and won the 2011 Six Nations before taking them to the 2011 World Cup.

Johnson said: “When you coach kids or talk to people about playing at the high level, it is about the people you play with.

"If you are playing with good people and enjoy trying to achieve together - at the top level it's a national or international event but that's what it is all about. Without being too sort of clichéd about it, you get stuck in for each other.

"We were lucky enough to play for a fantastic club that has had some fantastic teams. I was in the youth team at Leicester when the leagues actually started in the 80s and the club won the first one.

"My ambition was to get into the first team and contribute and I managed to do that."

Johnson played with a host of fellow greats during his 17-year career at Welford Road and he admitted there are countless moments to cherish.

"I was lucky - I played with some of the guys for a whole career, like Neil Back and Graham Rowntree," he added.

"You're very lucky to do that and go through the whole thing with a number of players. We were lucky to play for such a great club with such great people.

"You were always trying to improve and get better and even in my last season we were trying to win a final.

"When you are doing it, you are just doing it. We did know we were lucky but it's not until you finish that you understand how fortunate you were."

The Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame – supported by British Airways and Heathrow Express – raised money for both Sport Relief and The Supporters Club.