Hard work paid off for second row Cameron Jordan and Leicester Tigers as they lifted the trophy at the Premiership Rugby Under-18s Finals Day on Sunday.
A six-try 43-21 win at Allianz Park over Gloucester Rugby gave the Welford Road side victory at this level for the very first time.
The Tigers also completed an unbeaten season at Under-18s level and Jordan admitted that the success made all of the long and difficult training sessions that had come before worthwhile.
“It’s really awesome. The boys have been working really hard for two seasons,” he said.
“A lot of conditioning work during pre-season, a lot of graft, has gone in and really hard training sessions
“Over this past season, we’ve really come together as a group and to be honest, we get along off the field really well and it links us together on the field and it’s allowed us to have a really good season.
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) March 12, 2018
“We knew Gloucester would come out all guns blazing. They’re unbeaten in their Conference and scored 72 points in one game.
“They’ve talked about how they can come back into games so we knew at half-time, we were a few points ahead, but they pride themselves on how they claw themselves back into it
“They definitely did that in the last few minutes. We had a few sloppy mistakes and allowed them to creep back in but we held out well in the last few minutes – it was a great final.”
The young @LeicesterTigers doing absolute bits, cherish those moments boys don’t come around often 👏🏽
— Gengey (@EllisGenge) March 11, 2018
Jordan was one of four try-scorers for Tigers in the opening half as they held a 29-7 lead at the break, with Sam Costelow kicking three conversions and a penalty.
Tigers, who wore letters on their backs like Leicester teams previous, scored two further tries after the break and Jordan revealed they had taken a lot of inspiration from their club’s history.
He added: “Our seniors have a great pedigree in the Aviva Premiership we wanted to carry that on.
“We know the history and tradition – big intimidating forwards – and we wanted to try to replicate that.
🏆 Well done to the Tigers Academy on their Grand Final win over Gloucester 👏👏👏 future is bright for the #TigersFamily
— Tom Youngs (@TomYoungs87) March 11, 2018
“We’ve got sharp backs and a big pack and that’s how we want to play our game, and we’ve taken that as a model from the seniors.
“It’s great to lift the silverware at the end of the season. We didn’t set out to win the academy league but took it on a game-by-game basis and how we can improve on our game.”