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Tigers Family spreads the word

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Leicester Tigers gets into your blood, whether you have the honour of playing in the red, white and green, or whether you follow the team as a supporter.It doesn’t matter if you’re in the stands home and away, watching on TV or keeping in touch via the modern world of digital communications, there is no doubting that once the bug bites, it can take over. And it doesn’t let go. Once a Tiger, always as a Tiger, as they say.   If you need any proof, then how about one matchday squad featuring the sons of four Tigers fathers when the team run out for the pre-season fixture against Loughborough University at Welford Road on Saturday?   Even by the standards of the Tigers Family, that is an astonishing feat.   Matt Smith, Harry Thacker, Oliver Povoas and Fred Tuilagi will not only be representing he club, but the legacy of their fathers. No pressure then!   Matt, of course, has already earned a place in Tigers history and it was an emotional day when dad Ian ‘Dosser’ Smith joined him on the pitch for a presentation as they became the first father and son in 135 years’ of glorious Tigers history to each make 100 starts. The younger Smith, in a way that will make his dad equally proud, is a genuine club man, one who epitomises what it means to wear the shirt.   Harry Thacker has followed his dad Troy as a Tigers hooker and has made some impressive appearances as he has established himself in the senior squad alongside internationals Tom Youngs and Leonardo Ghiraldini. His brother Charlie, a centre, has also already had a taste of senior rugby and is expected to push hard for a place in the not-too-distant future too.   Oliver Povoas is a back-rower whose dad Simon had a tremendous try-scoring record with the club and reached England B level.   The newest Tuilagi, of course, follows a fantastic family line and Fred, son of Freddie, will become the eighth member to make a senior appearance for the club if he gets off the bench for his first run-put in senior company.   It is an amazing story and there will be many in the stands who will be rooting for each of them. As Tigers supporters, we love nothing more than seeing ‘One Of Us’ giving their all in the shirt.