Close to 100 Leicester Tigers season ticket holders and their guests went behind the scenes at the club’s Oval Park training base for a traditional ‘Umu’ feast on Tuesday.
The lucky supporters, chosen at random in a draw of season ticket holders, watched two first-team training sessions as head coach Geordan Murphy and his Tigers squad prepare to kick off their season this weekend, then enjoyed a barbeque prepared by Samoan strongmen and former Tigers players Freddie and Alesana Tuilagi.
Rob and Aiden Bradshaw, both from Leicester, are season ticket holders on the Breedon Terrace and were among the lucky winners who headed to the training ground for the exclusive event.
“We’ve never been to Oval Park before, so this is our first time here and our first time watching the guys train,” Rob explained. “It’s a really nice thing to do, and it’s been a real pleasant day out.
“We actually joined about seven or eight years ago. Where we stand means it’s flexible, so if we’ve got friends coming down or my brother coming down we can all stand together, and we can always make a day of it.
“Nothing beats Welford Road and that home spirit.”
Keen rugby player Aiden turns out for Market Bosworth, and was keeping a close eye on the Tigers squad’s preparations as pre-season builds to a head.
“I’ve been looking at tackle technique, catching and passing, and all the other stuff that’ll really help me out,” he explained. “I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Mother-and-son Elaine and Toby Wakelam, from Cosby, were also proudly wearing the green, white and red on the side of the pitch during both senior sessions.
“We’ve always supported the Tigers, but it was only recently – three years ago – that we decided to become season ticket holders,” Elaine said. “We’re in the same place, in the same crowd, with the same people week-in, week-out.
“We’ve always found that the atmosphere at the ground is a real Tigers family atmosphere, and we really enjoy the game.
“We’ve got friends who have been season ticket holders for a long time who kept telling us to come along, and then we decided to take the plunge – and we’ve not stopped since.”
Leicester Tigers season ticket holders like Rob, Aiden, Toby and Elaine can make the most of exclusive benefits – including the opportunity to head to special events like our annual Umu – as well as guaranteeing a spot at 16 home games throughout the season.
Find out more about becoming a season ticket holder and secure your place before the deadline on Monday, September 30 by using the links below.