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Steve Borthwick on why the suddenly free-scoring Charlie Clare is just the ticket for Leicester

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

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It’s said in sport that a player should never turn the clock back and return to an old club, but the recent form of Charlie Clare at Leicester surely debunks that myth. A former academy team captain, the 29-year-old re-joined the Tigers at the start of the 2019/20.


Mostly used as a bench option, he seems to have powerfully come into his own in recent weeks, starting two of the last three Leicester games and scoring four tries on top of extending his contract at the club on March 23.

Given the turnover in personnel witnessed at Leicester since Borthwick first arrived in the door last July, it is no mean feat for Clare, the ex-Nottingham, Jersey, Bedford and Northampton player, to catch the eye and ensure he wasn’t shipped back out the door like so many other signings that the new coach inherited from the previous regime. 

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Northampton and Wales out-half Dan Biggar guests on RugbyPass All Access
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Northampton and Wales out-half Dan Biggar guests on RugbyPass All Access

“He is an excellent character who has come through the Tigers academy, has left and come back to the club, loves the club and you see that in him and all his teammates see it in him,” enthused Borthwick, a coach who has been hard to please during his year-one rebuild of the ailing Leicester.   

“We talk about players that have joined the club recently, it’s great that you have got people like Charlie and there is many that straightaway the message is sent how much they care for Leicester Tigers and how if you play for Leicester Tigers you need to demonstrate this. Our supporters expect this, we expect this and Charlie embodies that.”

Borthwick, though, wasn’t getting hung up on Clare’s sudden try craze. “The reality is rarely in rugby is a try an individual occurrence and yes he is scoring but he would be the first to talk about all the people that do the work, pushing in front of him when he goes over the line. 


“It’s very much a collective effort and he would be the first to tell you that, he doesn’t need me to tell you that. He would be the first to point that out.”


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