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Tigers trio recommit to club

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Back-row trio Taylor Gough, Henri Lavin and Thom Smith have recommitted to Leicester Tigers by agreeing new deals at the club.

The Tigers Academy graduates were team-mates in the club’s Under-18 League title-winning season in 2017/18 and have each represented the senior team since gaining promotion into the development squad.

Gough, who played his junior rugby at Leicester Forest RFC, said: “I am from Leicester and this is my home club.

“It means more being able to keep being a part of my home club.”

Fellow back-rowers Lavin and Smith echoed their team-mate’s sentiments.

“When you get a chance to put on the shirt, you want to do the badge proud … it’s a different kind of buzz,” said Lavin.

“Tigers has done so much for me and I want to continue to repay them.

“To play for Tigers is the thing I want to do most in life.”

“I love it here, it’s the club I’ve known since I was a kid,” added Smith.

“The opportunity to have a career here is exciting and something I’ve always wanted to achieve.

“For me, it was down to loyalty and to remain was a no-brainer.”

The trio have all featured in the club’s Premiership Rugby Shield campaign throughout the 2019/20 season, with Smith also captaining the side.

It’s not only what our Academy coaches develop in the players on the pitch that has been hugely impressive in recent seasons but also the character instilled in them off it and these three Leicester lads are fine examples of that.

Geordan Murphy

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy expressed his delight when speaking about the retention of three of the club’s rising stars.

"Each of these three lads offer us something different in the back-row, technically and physically, which is valuable for our depth," he said.

“It’s great news for us to have Taylor, Henri and Thom agree new deals with the club.

“They have made their way up the Leicester ladder together, from junior days to the senior squad, and their journey continues together with these new deals.”

Murphy, who has often spoken about his desire to see the club’s squad built around players developed in the Tigers Academy system, added: “The retention of players we have produced through the Academy is extremely important to what we have been building here at the club.

“It’s not only what our Academy coaches develop in the players on the pitch that has been hugely impressive in recent seasons but also the character instilled in them off it and these three Leicester lads are fine examples of that.

“They have all earned this new deal through hard work and passion for the club, which is key for us as a group moving forward.”

The renewal of the Tigers trio follows the recent commitments to new terms of England internationals George Ford and Ellis Genge, as well as Sam Aspland-Robinson and Academy graduate George Worth.