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Tigers ABC to Z: E is for England, EDF & extra-time

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In the fifth day of our Tigers ABC to Z series, the focus turns to the letter E - including England and the drama of extra-time.E is for England   A total of 82 Leicester Tigers players have been capped by England. The first was wing Jack Miles, who won his only cap against Wales in Swansea in 1903, and the most recent is hooker Tom Youngs, who made his debut against Fiji at Twickenham in the autumn series of 2012.   Rory Underwood is Tigers’ most-capped England international with 85 Test appearances – one more than World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson.    Underwood is third on England’s all-time appearances list and is the national side’s record try-scorer with 49. Will Greenwood, who won 15 caps as a Tigers player, is joint-second on the try-scoring list with 31 from 55 internationals.   Welford Road served as England’s home ground in five Test matches. England beat Ireland 6-3 at the Tigers home in 1902 and were held 14-14 by Wales two years later. Ireland gained a 16-6 victory in 1906 before England steamrollered France 22-0 in 1909. The last England international to be staged at Welford Road brought a 23-5 win over Ireland in 1923.   In 1999, nine Tigers were capped by England in the game against Canada at Twickenham, with Neil Back, Will Greenwood, Austin Healey, Martin Johnson and Graham Rowntree starting the World Cup warm-up game and Richard Cockerill, Martin Corry, Darren Garforth and Tim Stimpson running on from the bench. Winston Stanley, a future Tigers wing, was in the Canada side.   E is for EDF Energy Cup   The 2007 Final of the Anglo-Welsh competition provided the club’s first silverware since 2002 and a first opportunity for Martin Corry to lift a trophy as captain.   Leading 28-9 at half-time against an Ospreys side in their pomp, Tigers won 41-35, scoring five tries, including a 30-yarder from second row Ben Kay and an even longer run-in from young Tom Croft. Ospreys played their part with some thrilling scores of their own in a second-half fightback. Relive the action in our match report by clicking here or check out the photo gallery by clicking here.   Tigers and Ospreys contested a second Final in the competition a year later, with the Welsh side taking the honours this time. The semi-final did provide a memorable win over Wasps at the Millennium, though, and an equallly memorable dive under the posts from try-scorer Martin Castrogiovanni.   E is for Europe   As well as the back-to-back successes in 2001 and ’02 (see ‘B’), Tigers are the only club to qualify for the northern hemisphere’s elite European tournament in every year of English qualification.   The 2015/16 season is the club’s 19th season in Europe and everyone connected with the club has memories to last a lifetime, including runs to five finals and qualification for the knockout stages on 12 occasions.   E is for Experience   Brad Thorn, at 39 years and 285 days, became the oldest player to captain the Tigers when he led the side against Saracens in the Aviva Premiership in the 2014/15 season. He overtook George Ward who was 39 years and 12 days old when he skippered Tigers at Nuneaton in 1924.   Graham Willars is the oldest player in the club’s history. He was 47 years and 135 days old when he played against Waterloo in 1987.   Jesse Ball is the oldest points scorer, according to the new Official Tigers History Book, thanks to a conversion against Belgrave St Peters in 1899 when he was 46.   According to the Tigers History Book, the team that beat Headingley at Welford Road in 1989 is the most experienced Tigers side of all-time with a combined total of 3,084 first-team appearances between them. By contrast, the side that played Saracens in the LV= Cup in November 2012 is the least experienced with just 115 first-team appearances, 42 of which were for Matt Cornwell.   E is for extra-time   Tigers have played extra-time in eight cup fixtures. The first game that required extra-time was a Midland Counties Cup semi-final at Rugby back in 1887 which the Tigers eventually lost 3-0.   The most recent game to go to extra-time was the historic Heineken Cup semi-final against Cardiff Blues at the Millennium Stadium in 2009, which Tigers eventually won in a penalty shoot-out. Some of the memorable moments from that day are captured in our photo gallery here.