Fixtures - Top Bar

Tom Croft is backing Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers

England international Tom Croft still remembers fondly his first appearance in a Leicester shirt in the Premiership aged just 18 and now he’s encouraging future Tigers to come and sample the atmosphere at Welford Road.

Croft, who has made more than 40 appearances for England, first sampled rugby as a youngster at Newbury, before moving on to the Leicester Tigers Academy.

His first passion was football but he soon realised his giant frame was more suited to rugby and quickly made his mark.

"I think people who have never been along to a Premiership rugby game before should give it a go, whether you know a lot about rugby or nothing at all – it's a place you can bring your family, young or old and enjoy a very good day out," he said.

"I started watching rugby late on, probably 10 or 11 years old – I grew up in Berkshire and my school was right next door to Newbury Rugby Club – the first game I went to see at Leicester was when I was in the academy – and I was hooked immediately.”

"Newbury was my first port of call for rugby – I was playing football for my local side but after having a taste of the game I loved it.”

Croft's interview was part of a new campaign from Premiership Rugby and Aviva to welcome new supporters to Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.

He is one of 12 club ambassadors – including Chris Robshaw, Danny Cipriani, James Haskell, Schalk Brits and Courtney Lawes – who are backing the Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers' campaign.

As part of the campaign Aviva and the Premiership Rugby clubs have teamed up to give away almost 2,000 free tickets across every game in the first seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, from the start of the season right up to Christmas.

Despite growing up at Leicester Tigers and progressing through the age-groups and the academy – Croft still remembers feeling terrified when he first made his Premiership bow.

"The first I played for Leicester in the Premiership it was against Gloucester and it was November 12, I'd just turned 18 and I was playing in front of a packed Welford Road," he added.

"The chance to play for Leicester Tigers was amazing, I had come up through the academy and I was absolutely panicking – it was amazing, we won the game and it all went from there."

The Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers programme will give away almost 2,000 free tickets across every game in the first seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, from the start of the season right up to Christmas.  Fans are encouraged to tell friends and family who have never been to a Leicester Tigers fixture before to visit www.premiershiprugby.com/avivafirsttimers now to sign up for their free tickets.

Latest News

‘One Turf Concept’ agreed by rugby, soccer and hockey

World Rugby, FIFA and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) have developed a ground-breaking protocol for multi-surface playing fields that could…

Premiership Rugby Balls

Referee appointments: Wayne Barnes takes charge of 180th Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Wayne Barnes makes his return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action this weekend, as he takes charge of the huge…

Bath Rugby’s Semesa Rokoduguni raring to go for The Clash

Bath winger Semesa Rokoduguni is already counting down the days until his side meet with old rivals Leicester Tigers in…

Semesa Rokoduguni

Aviva Premiership Rugby on BT Sport and ITV

England’s triumphant Six Nations stars will return to their Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs this weekend to continue their assault on…

Sam Aspland-Robinson and Calum Waters re-sign with Harlequins

Harlequins is delighted to confirm today (Wednesday 22nd March) that Academy members Sam Aspland-Robinson and Calum Waters have committed their…

Calum Waters

George Nott Signs A Five Year Deal With Sale Sharks

George Nott has become the latest Sale Sharks player to commit his long term future to the club after signing…

George Nott

Will Hurrell: Bristol Rugby will fight until the very end

Bristol Rugby have been left to lick their wounds for almost three weeks following their disappointing defeat to Worcester Warriors…

Break came at the right time for rejuvenated Sale Sharks, says Magnus Lund

Sale Sharks’ Magnus Lund believes his teammates have taken the opportunity to clear their heads during the Aviva Premiership Rugby…

Leicester Tigers’ George McGuigan ready to kick on after Anglo-Welsh Cup triumph

Leicester Tigers hooker George McGuigan believes his side can draw on their Anglo-Welsh Cup victory over Exeter Chiefs when they…

Jonny May itching to return for Gloucester Rugby ahead of Bristol challenge

Gloucester Rugby winger Jonny May is raring to play again in club colours after featuring in three of England’s four victories in a title-winning…

Marc Jones and Will Cliff re-sign for Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks are delighted to announce that Marc Jones and Will Cliff have re-signed for Sale Sharks, both on two…

Marc Jones and Will Cliff re-sign for Sale Sharks

Round 18 Preview: Saracens v Bath Rugby

Saracens have won their last two Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, against Sale and Newcastle Falcons, to end a three game…

Round 18 Preview: Saracens v Bath Rugby

Round 18 Preview: Wasps v Worcester Warriors

Wasps have lost just one of their last nine Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures: 28-34 at Sale in round 15. Wasps…

Round 18 Preview: Wasps v Worcester Warriors

Round 18 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks

Exeter Chiefs are unbeaten in the last ten rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby since their 10-13 loss at home to…

AJ MacGinty

Round 18 Preview: Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers

Northampton Saints have lost just two of their last seven Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters, both away from home, to Bath…

Freddie Burns

EPCR European Player of the Year 2017 winner to receive one million air miles courtesy of Turkish Airlines

With the high-profile quarter-final matches in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup less than a fortnight away, EPCR in conjunction…

Round 18 Preview: Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons

Harlequins have lost their last three matches at the Twickenham Stoop in all tournaments, against Edinburgh in the European Challenge…

Will Witty

Round 18 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Gloucester Rugby

Bristol Rugby have won just once in Aviva Premiership Rugby since the 12th round: 12-11 at home to Bath on…

Matt Scott

USA star Taufete’e commits to Warriors

Warriors have completed the permanent signing of talented USA international Joe Taufete'e. Having initially joined the Club on a short-term…

Joe-Taufete'e