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McPhillips extends stay at Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers have agreed a new deal with Johnny McPhillips to keep the versatile back at the club.

McPhillips, who joined Tigers in the summer of 2019, has made five senior appearances in his debut season as well as playing for Development XV in the Premiership Rugby Shield campaign and on loan with Doncaster Knights and Nottingham in the Championship.

A fly-half capable of playing across the back-line, McPhillips spent two seasons at Ulster before moving to Leicester, as well as featuring with the Ireland Under-20s squad that reached the World Junior Championships Final in 2016.

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said McPhillips had earned the new deal in an impressive debut season in Leicester.

“Johnny hit the ground running last summer and has been a great addition to our environment, on and off the pitch,” said Murphy.

“He has had limited opportunities in the senior side, but each time he has been called upon he has been impressive.

“His appearances in the Shield and on loan in the Championship have helped him to develop his game alongside his eagerness to progress and willingness to learn and improve.”

McPhillips said he felt his debut campaign was a rewarding one at Tigers.

“It might not have gone the way I might have planned, but it was really rewarding getting those opportunities before the break,” said the 23-year-old.

“It’s spurred me on to put down a marker when we get back and develop my game further under Geordie, Steve Borthwick and the coaching staff.

“There is talent coming in and already there in my position, which provides a competitive pool and environment to better myself as a player and is better for the club.”

The young back added that he felt it was an “exciting time” to be at Leicester.

“It’s a really exciting time to be here at Tigers,” McPhillips said.

“The foundations are getting put in place this season and, with the young guys coming through to blend with the older lads, it’s an exciting time and the club is heading in the right direction.

“Those additions in the playing squad and with Steve coming in, it’s exciting to see what we are capable of with the quality at the club.”

McPhillips is the 13th member of the Tigers squad to commit to new deals, including internationals George Ford, Ellis Genge, and Ben and Tom Youngs.