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Red Rose shoots in the Tigers ranks

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England representation from Tigers has been reduced this summer but there is a sizeable group who can count themselves unfortunate to miss out.

Eddie Jones, a Tigers hooker for a brief spell in the 1990s, has taken Ben Youngs, Dan Cole and bolter Ellis Genge to Australia with the senior England squad, but there is no Leicester man in the Saxons (George McGuigan will return as a Tiger as a new signing from July 1) and only Will Evans at the World Under-20s.
It is a limited return for a team that reached the semi-finals of both Aviva Premiership and European Champions Cup.
An overseas contingent led by Telusa Veainu enjoyed much of the spotlight at Welford Road this season, but there were still some standout performers qualified to represent the red rose.
Injury robbed Tom Youngs a chance to push for a recall, while Manu Tuilagi will be back again. Tom Croft has just come through a 29-game season with Tigers and Ed Slater was unlucky with injury just when he’d pushed the England door open. All will be able to stake their claims again.
But what about Dom Barrow, Graham Kitchener and Harry Thacker?
Barrow has shown a consistent quality for Tigers as a workhorse, a carrier, clearer and tackler in the best traditions of the shirt. England are particularly well blessed in the second-row department with the first-choice pair of 2015 joined by a new duo in 2016, but Barrow would have had strong claims for a Saxons tour.
Kitchener, too, has been in that second-row equation and led England in a non-cap fixture just 12 months ago. The carrot of a Test appearance is still dangling in front of him.
Thacker made a massive impact, if a man of his size can do such a thing, in a breakthrough season. His workrate and visibility with ball in hand earned friends beyond the Tigers Family and it would be interesting to see where he sits in the pecking order as he brings qualities which many of the other hookers do not.
And how far would Mike Williams and Brendon O’Connor have got if they had avoided injury after an early impact in a Leicester shirt?
That’s is an impressive core of English-qualified players, especially considering the age range and the potential of more to come from them.