Sam Harrison will depart Leicester Tigers in the New Year, with the 29-year-old deciding to pursue career opportunities away from professional rugby in Australia.
The scrum-half has made 172 appearances for the club since his debut as an 18-year-old in the 2008/09 season.
Speaking about the decision to leave the club, Harrison said: “It’s a very strange feeling, Leicester Tigers has been my home for almost 15 years.
“You could call it a job or a profession, but it has been more than that for me and I’ve been so lucky to be able to do it for my hometown club.
“Anything you have given this amount of time and effort to will be hard to leave, but now I have a bit of fire in my belly to do something different for me, my wife and my children. I always wanted to leave on my terms and I’m comfortable with this decision.
“It’s been an amazing chapter in my life and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.”
Born in Leicester, Harrison played his junior rugby with Hinckley RFC and at John Cleveland College before catching the eye of the club’s scouts and going on to represent the Tigers Academy and Development Squad as well as England Under-18s and Under-20s.
It’s just one small change but it has big repercussions for @EnglandRugby
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 24, 2019
He was a member of the Premiership A-League winning squad in the 2010/11 season and the following year was shortlisted for the Tigers Young Player of the Year award after 18 senior appearances and selected on the bench in the Premiership Final.
In 2012/13 he appeared as a replacement in the Premiership Final win over Northampton Saints at Twickenham and was voted Players’ Player of the Season and shortlisted for the Supporters’ Player of the Year award in 2014/15.
Harrison celebrated a decade in the senior squad in 2017/18 and the following year he passed 150 first-team appearances for the club.
Former team-mate and captain, turned head coach, Geordan Murphy said: “Sam’s time as a member of the squad speaks for itself.
“He has won almost every competition he has played in with Tigers and done it in the unique, tough and hard-working way that Sammy will be forever known for.
“Nobody can question his commitment to Tigers and his partnership with Ben Youngs is one of the best scrum-half pairings we will ever see in a Leicester shirt.
“I am so proud to have been able to play with him and then coach him, but even more proud to call him a friend.”
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