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Academy

Tigers face Clermont in pre-season practice

The Leicester Tigers Academy saw their first action of the season as they hosted Clermont Auvergne’s young side at Oval Park on Wednesday.

Almost all of Matt Smith’s young squad made appearances over the course of four 20-minute periods on the Tigers training ground.

Ben Muncaster, Charlie Titcombe, Jake Sterland and Ollie Smith all dotted down in atrocious conditions as Smith and his coaching team experiment with different combinations ahead of the new Under-18 League season.

The practice match comes at the end of Clermont’s visit to Leicester, with young players and staff from the French giants also taking a tour of the historic Welford Road stadium on Tuesday.

“We’ve had a good pre-season so far and opportunities like this to create the match environment and test the lads in those situations are really positive and beneficial for our development,” explained Tigers Academy head coach Matt Smith.

“The effort of the lads over the summer has been fantastic and I’ve been really impressed by their commitment to improving individually and as a team.

“It was an interesting feeling to prepare for a game as a head coach for the first time, but I’m lucky to have a great staff around me and a great group of young men that have made the transition into coaching a smooth one.”

The Tigers squad travel to France next week for a reverse fixture in Montferrand as well as a development tour ahead of the new league campaign, which gets underway in December.

Smith continued: “We are looking forward to going away to France next week and continuing our improvement as a group, while challenging ourselves in a different environment as well as [giving us] the chance to get even tighter as a group.”