Back rower Jordan Crane insists he will always reflect on his ten years as a Leicester Tigers player with huge fondness, as he looks forward to his new challenge at Bristol Rugby.
Crane has made over 200 appearances for the Tigers over the past decade, scoring 30 tries, including the only try in his side’s 2009 Aviva Premiership Rugby final triumph.
That 10-9 win was one of four domestic titles Crane has won during his time in the East Midlands having joined the club from Leeds Tykes when they were relegated in 2006.
“I’ve known for a couple of weeks now that I’d be leaving and it’s felt a bit different,” he said.
“To be somewhere so long it was going to be difficult to leave, but I’m looking forward to a new challenge at Bristol.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at Leicester a lot, the experiences I’ve had – you can’t ask for more from a club.
“But I think things have run their course for me though but happily I’m leaving on great terms, it’s been my home for ten years.
“The last few days are going so quickly, but I still remember my first day here rocking up pretty nervous. So it’s great to reflect what I’ve gone on and managed to achieve here.”
Crane is not included in the Tigers 22 for this weekend’s semi-final clash against Saracens at Allianz Park but he’s not short of fond memories from his time at Welford Road.
After a 26-26 draw after extra time in a European Cup semi-final at the Millennium Stadium, Crane was the eighth Leicester player to take a shot at goal from the 22; his success from the tee sent Leicester through 7-6 on penalties.
“I always go back to one month in 2009, where we played the European Cup semi-final, then the final in which we just missed out, and the Premiership semi-final and final too,” he said.
“To play in those four massive games in a single month – you pinch yourself when you are out there.
“My favourite Premiership final would have to be when Dan Hipkiss scored the try right at the conclusion the year after.
“Though I’m not involved in the semi-final, with the players and the fans it’s about going back over what we’ve managed to achieve over the years.
“We are so experienced in these situations and we are champing at the bit to get out there after missing out in the last few years.”