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Freddie Burns to return to Leicester Tigers

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Former England out-half Freddie Burns will be playing for his old club Leicester in next season’s Gallagher Premiership after he decided to limit his Japanese adventure to just a single year.

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Out of contract at Bath last summer, the soon-to-be 31-year-old opted to take up a deal in the Far East as it was the best switch available to him at the time due to the pandemic forcing clubs into taking remedial action with their budgets.

Now, though, the market has settled back down and RugbyPass have learned that Burns will be joining the Steve Borthwick transformation of Leicester in time for the 2021/22 English season.

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Freddie Burns guests with his brother Billy on RugbyPass Offload
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Freddie Burns guests with his brother Billy on RugbyPass Offload

Burns first moved to the Tigers in 2014 having made a name for himself at Gloucester where he played his way onto Stuart Lancaster’s England team. He spent three seasons at Welford Road before switching to Bath in 2017.

However, he eventually fell out of favour at The Rec and opted to keep his career ticking over with a stint in Japan. Shuttles’ most recent outing was a 61-10 win over Mazda, their fourth victory in four league games, but Burns’ stay with them will be just a single campaign as he is now set to make his return to the Premiership following an agreement with Leicester.

Speaking with RugbyPass last May when his Far East adventure was finalised, Burns said: “I feel very fortunate and very thankful to the Shuttles for finalising this and giving me peace of mind in an uncertain time.

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“It’s only a one-year contract at the minute so as much as I would like to stay out there and see where it goes and spend a bit of time out there, if it is something that doesn’t work out then who knows where I will be this time next year,” he continued, referencing interest from elsewhere before he decided on Japan.

“To be fair the other offers were just more verbal conversations, there was no sort of concrete offers. I kind of felt that Bath was also my time to leave the Premiership for now. Other clubs were having a chat but I just feel like I would love to finish rugby having experienced a different rugby culture and something a little bit different.

“I feel like my attacking game has been stifled a little at Bath. The Premiership is a great league and there is a lot of pressure on, but I feel the game now in England has turned into a game where you try not to lose instead of going out to win. I’m excited from seeing the results and the way the game is played in Japan, it seems like you go out there and try to outscore the opposition.”

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