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Lions tourists share place in history

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Congratulations to the British & Irish Lions - including the six Leicester Tigers players - who clinched a series victory in Australia.

Tigers team-mates Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Geoff Parling, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs and Tom Youngs all shared in the series triumph, clinched with a 41-16 victory in Sydney on Saturday.

The Lions won the opening Test 23-21 and then lost 16-15 in the second to set up a winner-takes-all showdown in the final game of the tour.

Five of the six selected from the Tigers ranks have come right through the club from Academy to first team and international status, while fellow Academy graduate Billy Twelvetrees also received a call-up to the tour as injury cover.

Tigers front-row legend Graham Rowntree was a central figure in the tour as a member of Warren Gatland’s coaching team.

All six Tigers tasted Test rugby, with Tuilagi returning from a shoulder injury to play in the final Test as a replacement.

Tighthead prop Cole was ever-present in Australia, starting three games and coming off the bench in the other six, including the Tests, and sat out only the opening fixture in Hong Kong against the Barbarians.

Tom Youngs made the most starts of any Tiger on tour, capping a memorable year as Aviva Premiership champion and Aviva Premiership Player of the Year with appearances in all three Tests (two as a starter) and two other starts among his seven tour games.

Second-rower Parling joined Youngs and Cole in playing in all three Tests, starting the second and third among his seven tour games.

Croft, on his second Lions tour, and Ben Youngs both played in the opening two Tests.

After celebrating the series victory, the players will now enjoy some time off before returning to pre-season training with Tigers.

Lions tour appearances (and Test apperances)
Dan Cole 3 starts + 6 as replacement (0+3)
Tom Croft 3+2 (1+1)
Geoff Parling 3+4 (1+2)
Manu Tuilagi 3+1 (0+1)
Ben Youngs 3+4 (1+1)
Tom Youngs 4+3 (2+1)