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Tigers honoured at Mercury Awards

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Two Leicester Tigers front-rowers were honoured at the Leicester Mercury Sports Awards at Welford Road on Thursday evening.

Tom Youngs added to his collection of honours in 2013 by being named Leicester Mercury Sportsman of the Year in recognition of his form with club and country and his call up to the successful British & Irish Lions squad.

And Graham Rowntree, who played 398 games for Tigers in 17 years with the club before beginning a coaching career with England and the Lions, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award, following in the footsteps of former footballers Graham Cross in 2011 and Peter Shilton last year.

Former Leicester City and England goalkeeper Shilton was among the guests at the Mercury event on Thursday, with Tigers duo Tom Croft and Dan Bowden joining sportsmen and women, amateur and professional, from across the county in the Premiership Suite at Welford Road.

Mercury editor Richard Bettsworth paid tribute to all the winners and finalists, saying: “Leicestershire sport is enjoying a golden spell and this is reflected in the achievements of our Sports Awards winners for 2013, who have achieved success at the highest level.”

Tigers were also shortlisted in the Team of the Year category won by treble-winning Leicester Riders. Richard Cockerill was nominated in Coach of the Year, an award won for a second year by Riders boss Rob Paternostro.