Legendary Leicester prop Graham Rowntree will be pleased the baton is being successfully passed at Welford Road as his young son Jack is one of six academy players to move to senior level next season as part of the club’s development squad. Ex-England and Lions prop Graham – who is coaching at Munster – played nearly 400 times for Leicester between 1990 and 2007 as part of the famed ABC, but offspring Jack has now taken a big step towards following in his father’s footsteps at the Premiership club after representing England at age-grade in recent times. 

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Geordan Murphy confirmed a massive exodus of 21 players from the club on Monday from various levels in the pecking order, a gap he is now looking to help fill with the promotion of a half-dozen of the Under-18 league-winning academy to development squad status. 

Aside from Rowntree, scrum-half Sam Edwards, out-half Harry Glynn, back rows Emeka Ilione and Kit Smith, and front row Archie Vanes have also been promoted. Murphy said: “These are six highly impressive young men who have each played major roles in the success of our academy programme.

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RugbyPass goes behind the scenes in a six-part Leicester Tigers academy documentary series

“They have been given an opportunity because of their hard work, but now it gets even harder for them and we’re confident they will commit to what is required and add valuable depth to our squad from next season.”

Ged Glynn, Leicester’s head of performance pathway and talent identification, added: “It’s an exciting time for these young men who are beginning their professional careers next season and we are delighted to have them doing it at Tigers.

“It is always a difficult decision, especially after recent success and the efforts of all those who have represented our academy in those title winning teams. All of those who have contributed to our programme’s success should be proud of what they have achieved.

“The foundations built in these young men at their schools and by Dave Wilks, Matt Smith and the entire Tigers academy staff have done an excellent job and the club is aware of the importance of bringing through talented players, who are also good young men, into the senior programme.”

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