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Tigers bring season cheer on hospitals visit

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Leicester Tigers players brought plenty of seasonal cheer to patients, their families and nursing staff during visits to Leicester's Hospitals on Friday.

Members of the Tigers first-team squad visited wards at Leicester Royal Infirmary and at Glenfield Hospital.

Logovi'i Mulipola, Vereniki Goneva, Blaine Scully and Niall Morris were popular visitors to the adult and children's wards at Glenfield, signing autographs and posing for photos.

Fraser Balmain, Tom Bristow, Neil Briggs, Dan Cole and Boris Stankovich signed and handed out programmes and autograph books to patients and staff during their visit to LRI, opposite Tigers’ Welford Road stadium.

They posed for dozens of photographs, shared jokes and swapped stories during a three-hour visit. Stankovich even gave away the Tigers T-shirt he was wearing, signed by his team-mates, to one of the patients who had broken her leg playing rugby.

“It was nice to be able to do that for Kelly,” said Stankovich. “Each year we come over to the hospital. I think most of the squad have been to visit and it’s always a pleasure.

“It means a lot to the people we meet. A lot of them are supporters themselves so it’s good to come up here, to meet them and to give back.”

Cole added: “The doctors and nurses do a great job and it’s nice to be able to meet them and, hopefully, give something back to them.

“If we can put a smile on people’s faces then that is great.”

Carole Ribbins, director of nursing at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: "It’s always special when Leicester Tigers come to visit. Both staff and patients really enjoyed it – visits like this are great.”