Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Tom carries captaincy on broad shoulders

Figure image
When it comes to leading by example, Leicester Tigers captains have written the textbook over the years.

While Deano was a one-off as a player – a man who seemed to guide the ball towards his own sphere of influence rather than one who merely followed – he was always a man to look to for inspiration. You knew he would be there, no matter what the odds, and doing the job.
Martin Johnson is the modern game’s very model of Lead By Example, backed up by the greatest successes of any captain in the game. And Martin Corry had a similar attitude, always in the thick of the action, always seeking to influence the course of a match and always expecting others in the shirt to do the same. Off the field, too, they had that aura of a true leader.
Neil Back, likewise, maintained phenomenally high standards in a role which not only brought out the best in himself but also those around him.

None of them had to make great speeches when team-mates knew that when it really mattered on the pitch they would be there - in Backy's case usually there before anyone else.
Outgoing captain Ed Slater got the job on the back of his consistency and also his determination to make his mark after coming from nowhere – bypassing the academy process and playing club rugby in Australia - as within a few short seasons of his arrival he was among the stand-out performers at the biggest club in England. His appointment as club captain spoke volumes for his influence, his standards and his  achievements.
Although unlucky with injury during his time at the helm, Ed still has that natural air of a man who can lead and make another significant contribution among the core of senior pros in the squad.
Geordan Murphy may appear to be the odd-man out and, granted, he was cut from a different stone as a mercurial and gifted star of the backline, but there is no doubting he was also a winner to the core, a man who cared passionately about the team and the outcome on the pitch.
Now Tom Youngs has now been handed the club captaincy and he has all of the attributes required to be a big success.
Like his recent predecessors in the job, the Tigers hooker is an outstanding performer in his own role and his mindset is all about doing the job – playing and leading – to the best of his ability at all times. For Youngs there is no such thing as ‘impossible’. He prides himself too on spending the bulk of his 80 minutes as close as possible to the ball, where he can be the biggest influence on everything happening around him.
This is a man who played for England Under-20s as a centre but is now a Lions cap at hooker. There is no better manifestation of ‘lead from the front’. Good luck Tom and all who follow.