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Tigers monitor youngsters' progress

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Leicester Tigers were unable to make a winning start to the Kings of the North at Sale Sharks on Saturday but the coaching staff were still able to learn more about the playing squad.Director of rugby Richard Cockerill, new head coach Aaron Mauger and their coaching colleagues saw 27 players gain gametime at the AJ Bell Stadium as Sharks recorded a 38-5 victory to maintain their winning start to the pre-season tournament.   England Under-20s caps Charlie Beckett and Will Owen started in the Leicester back row, and the squad also included Academy players Joe Maksymiw, Ben White, George Worth and wing Paolo Odogwu after they all gained valuable experience in the opening pre-season fixture against Los Pumas last weekend.   “It is a little bit disappointing with the manner of the defeat but we left senior players out like Mat Tait, Peter Betham and Lachlan McCaffrey because we want to look after them and we want to give the young lads some gametime,” said Cockerill.   “We are finding out about some of the younger members of the squad which is vital going into the World Cup period with some of the senior lads missing.   “It was tough physically but there were some positives from the young lads, certainly in the front five, George Tresidder starting at 9 and Paolo making it two tries in two games.   “There were a lot of young guys out there, we found out a bit more about them and they got a bit more experience.”   Tom Croft also came through his first game since the shoulder injury suffered at Newcastle in March, and back-rower Mike Williams made his first appearance since his summer move from Worcester Warriors.   Kings of the North continues on Saturday when Tigers host Newcastle Falcons. Kick-off is at 3pm and there are five hours of events and activities for the whole family planned in the build-up at Tigers In The Park. Match tickets are on sale now at the Tigers ticket office. Call in at the Club Store at Welford Road, phone 0116 319 8888 or click here to book online.   For more information on Tigers In The Park, click here.