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Tigers super fans set for stardom

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When a family of passionate Tigers fans agreed to talk about their love for the club to a camera crew at Welford Road they had no idea it would lead to them sharing a cup of tea at home with a Leicester legend.

But that's exactly what happened to the Phillips family, who were surprised by former Tigers favourite Austin Healey when he appeared during a filming day at their house.

John and Amy Phillips, dad Ian and grandmother Janet had wowed producers working for Premiership Rugby sponsors Aviva during a nationwide search for rugby's biggest supporters.

The family shone after taking part in a screen test at the Tigers game against Harlequins at Welford Road in November. A full camera crew was then sent to John's home to capture their love of all things Leicester – with the shock appearance of Healey the icing on the cake.

"It's all been exciting, I was very nervous but it's been lovely to meet everyone,” said Janet, 81, who has attended more than 500 Tigers games and once checked herself out of hospital after a heart bypass operation to go to a match.

"I couldn't believe it, I've seen Austin about for so many years and I would never approach him in the street because I think that's his private time, so it was lovely to give him a hug and say hello.”

To watch a Behind The Scenes video  click here

The family had a session in front of a professional photographer before donning their makeup and taking their place before the cameras for an interview session in John's lounge.

The finished advert will air this season, with all 12 Aviva Premiership clubs due to be represented on screen by their most passionate fans after crews scoured grounds across the country.

"When you see Leicester Tigers and England legend Austin Healey turn up at your door, it's amazing,” said John, 25, who only broke the news to his family they were going to be famous two days before filming.

"I think it will go down in the memory bank and be something we all call upon at family occasions, the time that Austin Healey had a cup of tea at our house - it's brilliant.”

As well as sharing some stories from down the years with Austin, the family spent time chatting with the former scrum-half who admitted meeting the Phillips had been an eye-opener.

"It's really good for an ex-rugby player to go and see the commitment that a family put in,” said Healey.

"It makes you realise how much it matters to them, and how much going to Leicester Tigers matters to people, and sometimes as a player you forget that.

"You just think about yourself and it's only afterwards you think what a massive part of the success of the club the fans are.”

Louisa Cheetham, senior sponsorship manager at Aviva, said: "What we're trying to do is really get to the heart of what matters to rugby fans from the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs.

"I think what's been absolutely fantastic is we've seen the passion of all the fans, from an 82-year-old Leicester Tigers supporter to a pair of eight-year-olds who love Exeter Chiefs.

"And I think it's absolutely testament to how wonderfully supportive the fans are. They are ultimately at the heart of everything we're doing with rugby making it the great game that it is.”

Aviva are proud sponsors of Aviva Premiership Rugby. For more information on Aviva's home insurance deals, go to aviva.co.uk/insurance