Leicester Tigers’ new signing Tommy Bell has only been at Welford Road for a matter of weeks but the former Jersey man admits he has already come on leaps and bounds under the tutelage of Geordan Murphy.
Bell got his first taste of Aviva Premiership Rugby action last weekend when he came off the bench to play the second half of Leicester’s 21-21 draw with Saracens.
The 21-year-old joined the Tigers last month after a storming start to the Championship season with Jersey that included scooping the player of the month award for September.
That form alerted the attention of Richard Cockerill and the Tigers set-up and with injuries crippling their back three, Bell was signed up on a two-year deal.
And with former Ireland and Tigers legend Murphy running the backs at Leicester and with an England international like Mathew Tait for competition, Bell is delighted with his decision.
“It’s a great environment at Leicester,” he said. “It was a bit of a no brainer really to come here.
“It was a good move to go to Jersey because I needed to get some regular rugby and they are a great club.
“I had a great pre-season and then the club had a great start to the season as well so when Leicester came in for me I was definitely quite chuffed, I hadn’t expected it to happen that quickly.
“But when a team like Leicester come calling you are always going to say yes, it’s a great place.
“Working with Geordan Murphy day in and day out is just amazing. He is a legend of the game, one of the best full-backs to play so to be able to learn from him in training is fantastic.
“And then when you look at the players in my position as well, someone like Mathew Tait who is another legend, he is brilliant at helping me out.
“He has achieved so much in his career, and from a very young age so you only have to try and follow on from what he is doing.
“But it will be a case of being patient, working hard and learning off these guys and waiting for my opportunity to come.
“At the moment with the autumn internationals and the injuries is a big moment for me, so when I do get these chances I have to try and make the most of them.”
Bell came off the bench when Blaine Scully went down injured on Sunday against Saracens and impressed in his first league outing for his new club.
A last-gasp Owen Williams penalty earned the Tigers a share of the spoils and, in addition to back-to-back wins in the LV= Cup, Bell is confident that Cockerill’s side have turned the corner.
“It’s been a tough start to the season,” he added.
“Obviously I was not here for most of it, but I have been hearing from the guys that there have been a lot of injuries.
“But that means a lot of young guys have come in and had a chance to show what they can do.
“We have had a couple of good wins against Irish and Sale in the LV= Cup and we take a lot of confidence from that.
“We are starting to build some momentum and hopefully the results start to follow.”
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