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Tigers welcome guest from 'down under' to Leicester

Leicester Tigers welcomed a visitor from 'down under' to Welford Road for the Gallagher Premiership fixture against Exeter Chiefs in Round 6 of this season's competition.

James Caterson, a coach at Sydney University Rugby, visited the home of the Tigers Family on Friday to watch the side's final training session before joining club coaches and members of the matchday squad for a pre-match meal at Welford Road's Clubhouse Suite.

On game day, Caterson was a special guest in the Director's Suite at Welford Road to watch the Premiership action with his partner, Georgia.

Speaking about his experience at Welford Road, he said: "It’s been a wonderful experience visiting the best known rugby club from England ... everyone was unbelievably generous with their hospitality."

"No way did I envisage lunch with the players and coaches the day before the game and the match day which finished with the staff Xmas party.

"We are privileged and honoured to have struck up this relationship and the two pioneers, James [Whitcombe] and Sam [Eveleigh] were terrific guests in Australia and it was of course a highlight to catch up with them."

Sydney University Rugby has been a leader in Australia's club rugby scene over recent decades and produced more internationals since the game went professional in 1995 than any other club from New South Wales.

Former Sydney University players who have also represented Leicester include European Cup winning back Pat Howard and more recently, Peter Betham.

The club's alumni list also includes World Cup winning Wallabies scrum-half Nick Farr-Jones and recent Australia internationals Dean Mumm, Dave Dennis, Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley, among many others.

Leicester's link with Sydney University was made official during the summer of 2019 when Tigers Development Squad members James Whitcombe and Sam Eveleigh, after graduating from the club's Academy programme, went on loan to the Australian club.

Speaking about the working partnership between the two rugby clubs, Tigers Head of Performance Pathway and Talent Identification Ged Glynn said: “Sydney University is a great club with a proud history and a tradition of producing intelligent rugby players.”

“The possibility for young Leicester Tigers players to experience the SU way of playing rugby is an invaluable development opportunity as is the chance to be coached by different coaches in a different competitive environment.

“We would hope to reciprocate the magnificent welcome our young players received last July and August in Sydney when their first players arrive with us in the near future.

"The opportunity for coach exchange is also there and hopefully both environments can learn from each other going forward."