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Leicester sign Bristol scrumhalf after early release agreed

By Ian Cameron
Tom Whiteley - PA

Leicester Tigers have signed Bristol Bears scrumhalf Tom Whiteley after an early release was agreed by Pat Lam’s side.


The 27-year-old will join Tigers this week after agreeing a long-term deal.

He is the second scrumhalf Richard Wigglesworth has signed since he retired as a player to take over as head coach at Welford Road following the departure of Steve Borthwick. At the start of the month Tigers signed Sam Wolstenholme on a short-term contract.

Whiteley joins the Gallagher Premiership champions effective immediately and “will commence training with the club this week”.

Wigglesworth said of the new addition at halfback: “We are very excited to have Tom join us this week on a long-term deal and looking forward to what he brings to the club.”

“Tom is an experienced campaigner in the league and adds great depth, as well as competition, to our scrum-half ranks.

“Not only does he provide us with options in the position during the Six Nations, while we have two players away with England, it’s pleasing that he’s also committed his future to Tigers beyond this season.

“I am looking forward to working with Tom, a player with his best years ahead, and seeing him contribute to what we are doing at this club.”


Discussing the move to Leicester Tigers, Whiteley said: “I am very excited to be joining Tigers, as the club builds on last season’s Premiership success.”

“It’s a club with a proud history and a bright future.

“I know Richard Wigglesworth well from our days at Saracens. His knowledge and energy are unbelievable.”


Bears boss Pat Lam said: “Tom has been a very popular member of the squad and we’re grateful for his contribution to Bristol Bears on and off the field during his time with us.

“With Tom already having agreed to join up with Tigers from the start of next season, and the opportunity arising there for a scrum half following Six Nations call-ups, the request came in to take him with immediate effect and we wanted to give Tom the opportunity to make the move early.


“With Harry Randall back from injury, Will Porter returning very soon and Andy Uren and Oscar Lennon in our ranks, we’re pleased to be able to give Tom the opportunity for some game time in the Premiership.”


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