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Rugby News

LeoVegas Fans' Favourite: Tom Hardwick

Tom Hardwick is the first recipient of the LeoVegas Fans' Favourite award for the 2019/20 season, after the Tigers centre received 38% of the vote for his performance in the Premiership Rugby Cup loss to Worcester Warriors.

The 20-year-old scored 13 of his side's 23 points, which included three penalty goals and two conversions, at Sixways Stadium in Leicester's first appearance of the new campaign and beat out Harry Wells (13%) and Thom Smith (9%) to win the fan-voted award.

Speaking after the match, Hardwick found plenty of positives in the performance despite the loss to the Warriors to kick-off the Premiership Cup campaign.

 "There was a couple of rusty moments, yes ... but it's all good learnings for us as a group," Hardwick told the press room at Sixways Stadium.

The match doubled as a first outing for Hardwick and Sam Costelow as a play-making partnership for Tigers and the senior of the two admits it is "exciting" what is ahead, with so many fellow Academy graduates making the step up to senior rugby.

"We are very comfortable playing alongside each other and with each other's games," said Hardwick.

"It's about taking it one game at a time and taking it as it comes.

"It is very exciting what is ahead here at the club."

Hardwick also praised the efforts of the club's Strength & Conditioning staff over the summer months for preparing the squad for the new campaign, which he says it a huge improvement on where the group was at ahead of last season.

"We have had lots and lots of training ... lots of double days," he said.

"It wasn't easy but it was all really, really good.

"We are much fitter than what we were at this point last season ... we spoke at half-time and full-time about our fitness levels out there today and how we all knew we have a couple of gears left in us."

Hardwick also said that, despite the loss, there was a collective effort towards preparing the squad for the opening round of the Gallagher Premiership.

"All that we are doing is building towards the opening round of the Premiership season," said Hardwick.

"We all trust in what the coaches are doing ... we back the plans, the new processes and the coaching."

Supporters can vote for their LeoVegas Fans' Favourite during each Tigers fixture of the 2019/20 season, exclusively via the Official Tigers App.

The App is available to download for Apple and Android devices for FREE from the App Store.