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Warm welcome for Tigers at Lichfield

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A crowd of more than 1,000 supporters enjoyed a sunshine afternoon and 12 tries as Leicester Tigers took the final home fixture in the Aviva 'A' league outside the county.

Lichfield RFC in Staffordshire hosted the day with rugby activities as well as food and refreshments on offer, a visit from Tigers first-team players and the chance to share in a double-header with Women’s Premiership Rugby too.
Worcester scored a dramatic last-gasp try to win 41-40 in a thrilling 80 minutes, which featured experienced players including Tom Croft, Will Evans, Tom Brady and Peter Betham alongside Tigers prospects from the development and academy squads.
Before the afternoon fixture, Lichfield’s young players were joined by teams from Ashby, Barton under Needwood, Tamworth and Veseyans for a morning of rugby. Tigers stars Matt Smith, Michele Rizzo and Jono Kitto also took part in a question-and-answer session hosted by Lichfield president Barry Broad during a lunch in the clubhouse.
Following the ‘A’ League fixture, Lichfield Ladies kicked off their Women's Premiership play-off semi-final fixture against Aylesford Bulls Ladies in the day’s final rugby action, with the visitors taking a 22- 15 victory.
The Tigers roadshow vehicle known as The Maul gave fans the chance to take on the Speed Pass Challenge and Tigers Tackle Bag, as well as posing for a photo with the Anglo-Welsh Cup following Tigers’ recent Cup Final triumph.
Chris Rose, head of brand at Tigers, said: “This was the first time Tigers have taken a ‘A’ League fixture on the road for many years and we couldn’t think of a better club to host it. We’re keen to continue building links across Staffordshire as part of our extended reach programme, and with clubs like Lichfield leading the way in the development of men’s, women’s and junior rugby, we hope to bring more events like today to the region.”
Ian Eadie, deputy chairman at Lichfield RUFC, said: “From the weather to the rugby, we hope that everyone who came along soaked up the atmosphere and experienced what the ‘A’ League and Lichfield RUFC are all about.
“The turn-out speaks for itself with well over 1,000 in attendance, so a huge thanks to everyone at Leicester Tigers who made the day possible.
“We are lucky to have strong community links with Tigers and days like this only justify developing these further.”
Becky Williams, director of rugby for Lichfield Ladies, added: “It was a great experience for our girls and all involved with Lichfield Ladies to play in front of such a big crowd. Aside from the result, we’re keen to focus on securing the future of this club and, with strong first and second teams already in place, along with emerging under-18, 15 and 13 ladies’ teams, the future looks bright.
“I must pass on our thanks as always to Tigers, not just in organising a terrific day out but also for their continued support across the Staffordshire region.”
Photographs from Sunday’s family day out are available to view on the Leicester Tigers Facebook page. 
Tickets for Tigers’ final two home games of the Aviva Premiership season, against Newcastle Falcons (April 15) and Sale Sharks (April 29), are still available. Visit the ticket office to book your tickets. www.leicestertigers.com/tickets/