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Young guns give cause for optimism

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The contribution of the youngest members of the Leicester Tigers squad provided some of the biggest positives from the final league fixture of the Aviva Premiership season at Bath on Saturday.

Tigers scored four tries in a 38-27 defeat at The Recreation Ground but kicked off the Round 22 encounter safe in the knowledge that a place in the Premiership semi-finals was already secure.
Director of rugby Richard Cockerill took the opportunity to rotate the squad ahead of the semi-finals, with Ellis Genge gaining a first Premiership start and academy prospect George Worth included in the matchday for the first time.
“We picked a mixed team with some good young lads and a good experienced spine with Tait, Williams, Youngs, Crane, Slater and Ghiraldini there,” said Cockerill.
“We rested a few but it was still a positive performance. It was a good contest. We wanted a good performance and we feel pretty positive about how we played, though obviously we would’ve liked to win it.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t finish it off after a really good first half. We had a nine-point lead, controlled the ball well and took our opportunities, but then in the second half they finished their chances very well.
“But I’m delighted for the young lads out there. Evans and Genge were good again, Jack Roberts and George Catchpole did very well, George Worth made his debut and all of those lads did really good things. Will played against Francois Louw and you can only get that experience by getting out there on the pitch.
“It was a really good experience for all of them and really good for us.”
Tigers now turn attention to a semi-final away to Saracens on Saturday, May 21 (12.30pm kick-off). Exeter Chiefs host Wasps in the other semi-final.