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Young players live like pros at residential camp

More than 130 young players learned to play ‘the Leicester Tigers way’ at the club’s residential rugby camp at Bishop Burton this week.

Players aged between 13 and 17 from across the UK, as well as a group from clubs in Italy, headed to Bishop Burton College near Hull for an intensive five-day programme of rugby coaching.

The week covered core skills, understanding of the game, strength and conditioning, nutrition and recovery, and is designed to give young players a taste of life as a Tigers pro by staying in the accommodation at the boarding college.

Leicester scrum-half and former England U20s captain Ben White – who attended the residential camp himself as a young player – delivered a session on key half-back skills and took part in a Q&A to share his experiences as a professional rugby player.

Evening activities included team building and leadership challenges, as well as offering players the chance to try out disability sports like wheelchair rugby and blind football.

Tony ‘Tosh’ Askew led a team of the club’s community coaches that included a guest appearance from former Tigers centre and development coach Anthony Allen.

“With a residential camp like this, we try and give the players a little indication of what being a young professional is all about,” Tosh said.

“We cover the standards they need to have both on and off the pitch in order to make that next step into the DPP or Tigers Academy.

“The days can be quite intense for them, so during the evenings it’s about having fun, and means [we cover] the whole thing that a young professional would hopefully have.”

Ben White Bishop Burton
Tigers scrum-half Ben White attended the Bishop Burton residential camp as a young player, and returned to deliver a half-back masterclass.

Tosh, who has previously coached with the RFU and Tigers Academy, also explained how players on the camp were encouraged to take inspiration from scrum-half White, who steps up to the club’s senior squad for the new season.

“I know Whitey really well, as he was in the academy when I was there,” he continued. “He understands these camps and is the perfect model of where a young player who comes to these camps [can be].

“He played Premiership Rugby at the age of 17, which for some of these guys is only a couple of years away. He’s just the perfect model for this sort of event.”

The residential at Bishop Burton follows a packed summer schedule of rugby camps, with young players learning from professionals across the Tigers heartland.

Just one rugby camp remains for the summer, at St Hugh’s School in Lincolnshire from next Tuesday, August 27 to Friday, August 30. Find out more details here.

Further camps and masterclasses at Welford Road, to help young players develop individual skills, are set to take place from October, with dates in Leicestershire and Norfolk confirmed so far.

Use the links below to find out more and book a rugby camp near you.