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Leicester Tigers confirm new-look squad leadership

Ellis Genge has been appointed Leicester Tigers club captain ahead of the 2021/22 season.

The front-rower has made 89 appearances for Tigers since his debut in 2016.

Genge made the move to Leicester from Bristol, on loan, in the final months of the 2015/16 campaign before making the move permanent during the following season.

In his first full season at the club, Genge received the Young Player and Best Newcomer awards and Premiership Rugby Discovery of the Season, as well as earning a nomination for RPA Young Player of the Year.

Capped on 30 occasions by England, the 26-year-old has been a regular in the national squad since earning his first Test cap in May 2016, shortly after debuting for Leicester Tigers.

Speaking about the appointment of Genge, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “Ellis epitomises what we, Leicester Tigers are about; hard work, toughness and a desire to continue to improve.

“He has set the example in everything that he does, on and off the pitch, since I arrived at Tigers and possesses a great ability to bring people together.

“It gave me great pleasure to appoint Ellis as club captain, but even more pleasure to see the reaction from his team-mates to the news of his appointment.”

Joining Genge in a new-look Leicester Tigers leadership pairing is Hanro Liebenberg, who has been appointed vice-captain.

The 26-year-old is entering his third season with Tigers after making the move to the East Midlands ahead of the 2019/20 campaign from South Africa.

Liebenberg has made 36 appearances for Leicester since debuting in September 2019 and was voted Supporters’ Player of the Year at the conclusion of last season.

Speaking about Liebenberg’s appointment, Borthwick said: “Everyone can see the quality that Hanro brings as a player in each and every game we play.

“Every day he brings that quality to our training, setting the standard for others to follow.

“He tinks deeply about the game and his experience of playing in South Africa, France and England adds to the great depth of understanding he brings.

Discussing the appointment of the new-look pair, Borthwick added: “Ellis and Hanro together are a great combination to lead this Leicester Tigers playing group.

“We are also fortunate to have a strong group of senior players at Leicester Tigers, who will be a great support to Ellis and Hanro in what they bring to the leadership roles.”

The appointment of Genge sees him replace fellow forward Tom Youngs as Leicester Tigers club captain.

The 34-year-old has made 215 appearances for Tigers since his senior debut in December 2006 and first led the club during the 2014/15 season.

The 62nd club captain in Tigers’ 141-year history, he has made 98 appearances as captain to sit in 14th place on the all-time list of matches as skipper.

Looking at Youngs’ contribution to the club as captain, Borthwick said: “Tom Youngs has been an exceptional leader for Leicester Tigers for several seasons and, while not as captain, he will continue to be a senior player in our group.

“His time as club captain has been during one of the toughest periods in the club’s history and Tom has been integral to building the foundations to help turn Tigers around, which he is committed to being a part of in a different way this season.

“He is as passionate a clubman as I have come across and, in every way, thinks of the team and his team-mates before himself, including his decision to stand down from the role ahead of this season.

“Tom is owed a great amount of praise for having done the job of club captain at Leicester Tigers to the level he has and in the manner he has since 2015.”