University of Leicester supplies student village home for Academy newcomers

Posted by er134 at Sep 19, 2013 05:05 PM |
University of Leicester and Leicester Tigers in collaboration

Issued by Leicester Tigers on 19 September 2013

Leicester Tigers have teamed up with the University of Leicester in a ground-breaking move in the development of the next generation of rugby stars.

The Tigers Academy is the most successful in the country, with a succession of players coming through its youth ranks to establish themselves at the biggest club in UK rugby as well as reaching international status. Six of its graduates shared in the victorious British & Irish Lions tour to Australia this summer.

Among the homegrown names to have come through the ranks and into the current Tigers squad are Dan Cole, Ben and Tom Youngs, Manu Tuilagi, Tom Croft and Matt Smith who all shared in the club’s Aviva Premiership title victory last season.

Now the University of Leicester has allocated a property in Manor Road, Oadby – which is part of their ‘student village’ – to provide a ‘home from home’ for a new intake of young players into the Tigers Academy.

The University property will become home to 11 young players in their first year in the Academy. Together with living accommodation and study space, the property has been decorated to include images of Tigers Academy and youth team graduates including World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson, former England captain Paul Dodge and England internationals Graham Rowntree, Louis Deacon and Harry Ellis, as well as its most recent successes on the Lions tour.

Tigers Academy manager Neil McCarthy says: “This new link with the University of Leicester allows us to provide the best care possible for young players from outside the city to come into our system for the first time.

“This is extremely important because these players are leaving home and making a big decision in joining us at 16 years of age, a decision which is shared with their parents and families.

“Our Academy region covers a large area in the Midlands and East Anglia, so we have players who make a significant commitment in terms of leaving home to join us. This relationship with the University of Leicester shows them and their families how seriously we take the care of our young players.

“As a club, we appreciate how challenging it is to come into the Academy at a young age and to combine rugby training with school or college studies and we want to provide the best possible platform for those young players to succeed.

“This property provides a base for a group to benefit from the accommodation provided, the support they get from the club and the support of each other.

“This is a development we have had in mind for some time, and the support of the University of Leicester has been vital in identifying and providing a property close to our education partners at Wyggeston Queen Elizabeth College and Leicester Grammar School and close to the club’s training ground at Oval Park in Oadby.”

Professor Sir Robert Burgess, Vice Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: “The partnership between the University and the Tigers sees two of Leicester’s high-profile and international organisations working together to provide outstanding young rugby players with the supportive environment they need to flourish while away from home.

“The University has a long and outstanding track record in providing high-quality accommodation and support for its students, and it is a natural step for us to use our skills to help the Academy players feel at home.

“Working together, we believe that we can create an Academy environment which will be the envy of clubs at home and abroad.”

Tigers Academy graduates Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs will be guests of honour when the official opening is performed by Professor Sir Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, this Friday.

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