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Whitcombe receives award from fellow Tiger

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Former Leicester Tigers centre Steve Burnhill has presented a school award in his name to young prop James Whitcombe who has followed in his footsteps at the club.

The Burnhill Cup is presented annually at Woodhouse Grove School where Whitcombe is a Year 13 student.

Like Burnhill, who made 44 first-team appearances for Tigers in the mid-1980s, front-rower Whitcombe is First XV captain at the school.

The award is normally presented at the school’s Prize Day, but Burnhill handed it over early as Whitcombe is attending an exchange programme in Australia this summer.

Whitcombe first played rugby at Skipton RFC, then joined Keighley, and Bradford and Bingley before joining the Leicester Tigers academy. He played in the club’s Under-18 League title-winning team this season and made his debut for England Under-18s in 2018.

Dan King, director of sport at Woodhouse Grove, said: “James is an excellent Firstst XV captain. His commitment to training and his focus on the field is exemplary.

“James benefits from the school’s Grove Athlete Education Programme which provides pupils who have competed or been recognised at international, national, regional or county level, or who have been signed by a professional academy, with the support they require to co-ordinate academic life around their sporting commitments and provides tailored programmes to maximise their potential.”

Whitcombe said: “The school has given me a lot of opportunities and I have probably done so well with my sport because they really support and push you if you excel at something. What I will take away from my time at the Grove is to be a well-rounded person and work hard in everything that I do.”