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Rugby News

Maksymiw marks league debut with a win

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Academy graduate Joe Maksymiw celebrated a Leicester Tigers victory in his Aviva Premiership debut on Saturday.

Maksymiw, who joined the Tigers ranks after playing his early rugby with Loughborough RFC, made his first appearance in the Premiership after previous experience in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

The 21-year-old Maksymiw partnered fellow academy graduate Harry Wells in the second row as Tigers beat Gloucester 24-10 at Welford Road in front of a 20,000-strong crowd.

“I really enjoyed it,” said Maksymiw. “It was good to get involved.

“Some of the senior players were saying ‘Just get involved as soon as you can and then you can settle down’ so it was good to get my hands on the ball early on.

“It was a physical game and it’s a shame the lineout didn’t go so well, but that is something to work on.”

Maksymiw was given the call following injuries to senior players Dom Barrow, Mike Fitzgerald and Graham Kitchener, and said the whole squad had prepared well for the game.

“I knew in midweek that I was going to be involved so I had some time to prepare for it,” he said. “That was good for controlling the nerves, and the senior leaders like Tom Youngs and Dan Cole have been really helpful all week.

“My mum and dad and my girlfriend were here for the game and I’ve had messages from friends. It’s nice to know they’re all watching.

“It’s good to get that first Premiership game out of the way.

Maksymiw also had the best wishes of former school De Lisle College, who tweeted: “Congratulations and best wishes to former student Joe Maksymiw, starting his first Premiership game for @LeicesterTigers tomorrow” as the team was announced on Friday.