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Quiet man states his case in the Tigers ranks

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As Tigers fans we've always been proud of our unsung heroes on the pitch. For every Johnson, Back and Tuilagi, we've hailed a Deacon, an Allen or a Vesty.

The rugby ethos of teamwork and togetherness can allow some players to go through a career under the radar and only be truly appreciated by their colleagues on the pitch who see all of the work that is hidden from the general glare.
Men like John Wells or ‘Dosser’ Smith perfected the prototype, consistent and dogged, their true worth to team-mates betrayed only by the hundreds of first-team appearances and long careers. Louis Deacon’s graft allowed others to shine alongside him, younger brother Brett was similar; Anthony Allen’s own form was ironically overlooked on the basis that he brought out the best in those around him; and Sam Vesty took a while to convince outsiders of the talents long recognised from within.
For some players it is possible to start in one category and through sheer strength of performance move into the spotlight.
Marcos Ayerza comes to mind as an example, once an unsung worker but eventually acknowledged among the very best in the game. Even then, it is normally former props in the media who pick him out for praise, rather than casual fans. Dan Cole, emerging from the shadow of the more flamboyant Martin Castrogiovanni, is another to take a place on that pinnacle.
This season, The Tig proposes the addition of Adam Thompstone to the ranks of unsung heroes.
As a youngster at London Irish, Thompstone made an early impact before a horrible ankle injury. Later, he moved on to Tigers and celebrated a hat-trick in his home debut against Exeter Chiefs.
Now in his fifth season at Welford Road, The Tig wonders if Thompstone has ever been in better form than he has shown this season, despite the team’s inconsistency.
He might not be the flashiest player and is certainly among the quietest, but the finish for the try at Sale, when he somehow got the ball under two tacklers in a postage stamp-sized space on the right wing, would stand up in comparison with anyone. It took several slow motion replays for The Tig to identify where he had placed the ball – and it still did not seem possible within the accepted laws of the universe.
If a ‘big name’ had scored from that position, it would still be running on a loop at BT Towers.
A try from a driving maul is not be the kind of move that made Rory Underwood, Alesana Tuilagi or Vereniki Goneva into headliners, but the score in Glasgow showed there is more to Thommo than diving into the corner.
Defence has been a sore point for the whole team this season, but twice in the win over Bath it was Thommo who covered from one wing to the other to make a potential try-saving tackle, while the turnover just five metres from his own tryline against Worcester a few weeks ago would have done any loose forward proud.
Unsung perhaps, but no less valuable for all that.