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Tigers Cubs on the rise: Sam Costelow

The Premiership Rugby Cup has always been the arena for the next generation of players to strut their stuff and show coaches, fans and even fellow players what they are capable of in senior rugby.

In recent seasons, the likes of Tom Hardwick, Joe Heyes and Jordan Olowofela have burst on to Premiership scene after impressive outings in the Cup competition.

Before them, it was Dan Cole, George Ford and Tom and Ben Youngs, who walked the same path.

But now, it's time for a host of Tigers Cubs to make a name for themselves - and push for selection in the Leicester top squad.

It's great to be here, finally, getting my chance that I have dreamed of doing for a long time - playing senior rugby

Sam Costelow

Geordan Murphy, who also made a name for himself as a player in Cup rugby, is entrusting the youth in his squad to represent the Tigers in the 2019/20 Premiership Rugby Cup.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's away trip to Worcester, Murphy said: “This week offers us the perfect chance to reward some youngsters who have made the step up to senior rugby over the summer, and new members of the squad, with a well-earned chance in the top squad."

Included in that group of 23 players selected by Murphy for the Sixways showdown with the Warriors are 16 Tigers Academy graduates and eight who will make their senior debut for the club.

In the absence of international stars Ford, Cole, Manu Tuilagi and several other big names, it could be said that Murphy has been forced in to selecting a side with an average age of just 22.

However, the Tigers head coach says it's not the case at all and this weekend's side is based on rewarding the efforts of his young - and new - faces in the Leicester squad who have "impressed" Murphy and his coaching staff throughout a longer-than-usual-summer.

“As coaches, we get the opportunity to see what they are capable of at this level after a tough pre-season during which they have impressed us with their effort," said Murphy.

Yes, there are some 'older' faces and names in the team to travel to Worcester in the form of internationals Gaston Cortes and Tatafu Polota-Nau, who boast almost 100 Test caps between them, but so too are there three 18-year-old's.

One of those is Sam Costelow, who arrives on to the senior rugby stage with an impressive age-grade resume for a kid who was sitting his A-Levels while preparing for his first season as a professional rugby player.

"There are some nerves, definitely, but it's exciting to be here and I am looking forward to the game," says Costelow.

"It's great to be here, finally, getting my chance that I have dreamed of doing for a long time - playing senior rugby.

"It is made more special by doing it with guys I have played rugby with a lot on the way up in the Academy as well."

A Welsh-born, Tigers Academy graduate, Costelow has represented his home nation at U18 and U20 level already.

For those fans who take an interest in the club's junior ranks, he will be well known as one of the key figures in the club's back-to-back U18 League title wins in recent seasons.

New to the senior rugby, he may be.

New to the Tigers Way, he is not.

It might be a new fluoro-red kit, worn by new faces, but those on their way up the Leicester ladder possess what many in the world of rugby have long looked upon as one of the biggest assets a player can possess - the Tigers DNA.

Get excited, Tigers Family. These young men are the future of this proud club and this season is their chance to show you what they are capable of.