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Junior Academy

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The Junior Academy pathway is split into three stages: Developing Player Programme (U13-15) Player Development Group (U15-16) and Talent Development Group (U15-16).


Leicester Tigers Academy operates eight DPP centres across a geographical region that covers Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and Norfolk.

The DPP forms a part of the regional player pathway, run jointly with the counties of Staffordshire, Leicestershire, NLD and Norfolk. All centres are managed by a head coach, with support coaches, who operate a holistic programme aimed at developing across their psychological, technical, tactical and physical skills. This will ensure our aspiring young players are suitably educated and equipped with the essential physical foundations for professional sport or lifelong participation in the game.

DPP Locations

Region Covered Location Head Coach
Leicestershire East Oakham RFC Ian Dosser Smith
Leicestershire West Hinckley RFC Jason Button
Nottinghamshire University of Nottingham Greg Mannion
Northern Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire Chesterfield Rugby Club Steve Grainger
North Lincolnshire Lincoln RFC Greg Mannion
Norfolk Wynmondham RFC Toby Grieves
North Staffordshire Keele University Gary Dipple
South Staffordshire Stourbridge RFC Anthony Nixon

Talent Identification

A player who is identified as showing the potential to become a future Leicester Tigers player will be invited to attend one of the eight centres, whichever is located nearest to them. Players still continue to play for their schools and club sides during their time in the DPP.

U13 Trials
The available opportunity to engage with the DPP is at U13, we will send nomination forms to schools and clubs at Christmas before a trial process after the February half term.

Assessment process

All players within the programme are observed and assessed across all components of development at their centre. Specific feedback is given via the Head Coach and players will be responsible for their own development plans. Players are invited to attend the DPP for one season at a time. Feedback and de-selection is managed by the Head Coach or coaches from that centre. If a player is deselected from the programme, it is not the end of the road. When players are deselected we always monitor their progress through our scouting network and some players are invited back into the programme at a later stage.

A key part of the programme is a series of DPP camps will run for newly entered U13 players and current U14s across the region.

The DPP will conclude in February of the U15 year and transition into the Player Development Group.

Player Development Group (U15 and U16)

Players are assessed over the full period of time in the DPP and following a series of combined training sessions and festivals of the U15 season they may be selected for the 'Player Development Group'. These groups will run and train at the below venues until December of the U16 year when players will transition into the County playing programme.

Region Covered Location Head Coach
Leicestershire Oakham RFC Tom Harrison
Staffordshire Keele University Greg Mannion
NLD University of Nottingham Diccon Edwards
Norfolk Easton College Tim Malone

Talent Development Group (U15 and U16)

Following the completion of the PDG programme at U15 and County season at U16 we will offer a further development opportunity to a number of players selected for the Talent Development Group. At U16 this group will play at the Wellington Festival. U18 Academy places will be confirmed in April of the U16 year.

If you have any queries regarding the DPP or PDG please contact [email protected].

Academy Trials

We do not hold open trials for entry into the Academy programme. Most players are selected from our DPP Centres.

However, we operate an extensive scouting network that refers players directly to the Academy for consideration. While we recognise that some players are late developers, the entry standard is extremely high for a trial opportunity.

For further information regarding a trial period for players aged 14-16 please email [email protected] this should be supported by a reference from a club or school coach. If seeking a trial for the U16 TDG, any application should be supported by references and video footage.

If seeking information about U18 trials please contact [email protected] please note that we receive a high volume of requests and all U18 requests must be supported by references and video footage.