Geordan Murphy says the experience that new additions Tom Varndell and Leonardo Sarto bring to the squad is a huge "positive" for a Tigers squad "running on bare bones" in the outside backs.
The international capped pair were announced as new signings in the build-up to last Sunday's Gallagher Premiership fixture away to Bath and, speaking exclusively to LeicesterTigers.com, Murphy also admitted the chance to add players of their "calibre" was too good to pass up.
"We've had an unfortunate run of injuries to important players for us and basically been running on bare bones for a lot of the season in the outside backs," said Murphy.
With internationals Telusa Veainu, Mat Tait and experienced duo Matt Smith and Adam Thompstone all nursing long-term injuries, Murphy is currently unable to call upon the experience of almost 600 appearances for the club.
"Telusa, Taity, Thommo and Smithy are all nursing long-term injuries, so with two guys of Tom and Leonardo’s calibre available, it was a huge positive for us to get them in to the squad," he said.
Murphy also knows all too well the attacking ability of his former team mate Varndell, who is still Premiership Rugby's record tryscorer, and didn't hesitate in picking up the phone once he'd heard his time in France had come to an end.
"When I heard that he had left France, I gave him a ring because I was keen to add the experience has has from his time with us at Tigers, as well as his stints with Wasps, Bristol and now in France," Murphy said.
"He’s experienced, he’s hungry, he’s fit, fast and to have someone like Tom in our squad can only be beneficial ... he is a world class finisher."
Sarto, seven years Varndell's junior and capped on more than 30 occasions by Italy, left Glasgow at the end of last season after back to back, long term injuries and spent the summer of 2018 and opening months of the season training alongside his brother at Colorno, Italy, who were recently announced as the newest Global Partner Club of Leicester Tigers.
"We've had an unfortunate run of injuries to important players for us and basically been running on bare bones for a lot of the season in the outside backs."Geordan Murphy
Speaking about the Italy international, Murphy says he's been very impressed from what he's seen of the 26 year old and is excited for what he'll add to the group.
"Leonardo is a very, very good player and has performed brilliantly in what we’ve seen of him before for both Glasgow and on the international stage," said Murphy.
"He’s coming back from an injury and is in need of game time and needs opportunities to perform, which will only make him hungrier and more motivated to show his quality on the pitch and off it.
"I'm excited to see that and work with him, as well as pleased that we can add his much needed experience and perspective to the group."
Sarto and fellow new arrival Varndell both started on the wings for Leicester in Monday afternoon's Premiership Rugby Shield fixture against Newcastle, with the latter crossing for a try in the narrow defeat at Loughborough University.