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Leicester Tigers agree mid-season release for Thom Smith

By Kim Ekin
Thom Smith (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

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Leicester Tigers have agreed an early release from his contract for Thom Smith which will allow the back row to pursue a career in the Championship.

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Smith is switching to Doncaster Knights, for whom he has already played two games – against Hartpury and Ealing.

Smith (6’1, 103kg) had played for Tigers since arriving from Norwich. The forward made his senior Tigers debut against Saracens in the Premiership Cup in October 2018, having previously represented the Premiership giants at U18 and A League levels.

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A club statmeent reads: “Leicester Tigers have agreed terms with Thom Smith, allowing the back-rower an early release from his contract with the club to join Doncaster Knights on a full-time contract.

“The 21-year-old has spent the opening months of the 21/22 season on loan at the Championship club.

“Smith has made 10 senior appearance for Tigers since debuting during the 2018/19 Premiership Rugby Cup campaign after graduating from the club’s academy programme.”

Discussing Thom’s signing, Head Coach Steve Boden said: “We’re delighted to secure the services of Thom Smith. He’s a young player who needs a lot of consistent game time and we feel like he’s got a bright future ahead.

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“First and foremost, he fits the mould of what we’re about at Doncaster Knights – he’s a great bloke with a great character, and his work ethic is second to none. So, we’re looking forward to seeing how he develops here in the near future.”

The 22-year-old back rower joins Doncaster Knights as a young player looking for game time and to enhance his rugby development, which had stalled at Leicester Tigers in the face of significant depth in the position in the first team.

“I’m extremely excited and grateful to have signed with Doncaster Knights. The environment created by the players and coaching staff has made the transition so easy and I’m really looking forward to my time here.”

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