Archie Vanes made his first trip to watch Leicester Tigers at Welford Road at the age of 10 and has now come through the system to gain academy selection.
Originally a back-rower but now settling at hooker, Archie played in the age-groups at Melbourne RFC in Derbyshire – including a trip to Welford Road in the Prima Cup – and then with Ashby, where he shared in a County Cup triumph.
He joined the Tigers’ DPP group at Hinckley, where coach Jason Button provided valuable guidance, and says Tigers duo Manu Tuilagi and Tom Youngs are players he looks up to most.
“The dream is to be a professional rugby player and getting to this level is the first step,” he says. “It is good to challenge yourself and work hard to be the best you can be.”
Archie joined the Tigers academy after impressing at the Wellington Festival and played on the Welford Road pitch against Yorkshire Carnegie’s Under-18s during 2018/19, in what he describes as “a brilliant experience”.
He was among four Tigers academy players selected for the England Under-18 development tour to South Africa in the August 2019.
Getting to know you
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Super strength would be good as a hooker.
What fillings would you add to your perfect sandwich?
Bacon, egg and black pudding with ketchup. Perfect.
What three things would you want if you were stuck in a desert island?
Swimming trunks, a rugby ball and a pig for meat