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Welsh exodus continues as Leicester Tigers sign Nicky Smith

By Josh Raisey
Nicky Smith of Ospreys is tackled by Leicester. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Leicester Tigers have signed Ospreys and Wales loosehead prop Nicky Smith on a multi-year deal ahead of next season.

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The 29-year-old has spent the entirety of his professional career at the Ospreys, making 170 appearances to date.

With 46 caps to his name, Smith will remain eligible to represent Wales while playing in the Gallagher Premiership, although he did not feature in the Guinness Six Nations this year, where Warren Gatland’s Wales side finished bottom of the table.

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Smith has joined the growing number of Welsh players that are opting to play abroad next season. Smith’s Ospreys teammate George North is also set to join French outfit Provence next season, while Cardiff’s Rhys Carre and Tomos Williams will also make the move to the Gallagher Premiership, with the prop rejoining Saracens and the scrumhalf teaming up with Gloucester.

The Welshman still has over two months left with the Ospreys, beginning with a visit from reigning United Rugby Championship winners Munster on Friday.

After signing, Smith said: “I’m very excited to be joining Leicester Tigers next season.”

“It’s a club which is filled with history and ambition. There have been many world-class players that have worn the famous Tigers jerseys and I’m honoured to get the opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in the World.

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“I’m looking forward to be running out to the electric atmosphere at Mattioli Woods Welford Road”.

Leicester Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar said: “Nicky will be a quality addition to our group.”

“He’s got all the attributes we were looking for in a loosehead; powerful, excellent work rate and a thirst for set-piece so I’ve no doubt he’ll fit in nicely.

“Chatting to him and guys like Olly (Cracknell) and Tommy (Reffell) as well you can sense that he’s a good team man and someone who wants to be part of our club so we’re really pleased he’ll be joining us.”

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Comments

2 Comments
C
Colin 122 days ago

How about spending money on young English players. Why is the Premiership paying the wages of Welsh, Scots, Saffers and Kiwis?????

N
Neale 123 days ago

Another young English player blocked then. Great use of RFU’s money and a mockery of EQP.

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