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Leicester Tigers strengthen forward pack with trio of signings

Leicester Tigers strengthen forward pack with trio of signings

Leicester Tigers have secured the signings of two international forwards and a former Tigers Academy captain as head coach Geordan Murphy bolsters his pack for next season.

Argentina lock Tomas Lavanini, 23-stone Samoa prop Nephi Leatigaga and returning hooker Charlie Clare will all call Leicester home next term after being announced as the latest additions to the Tigers squad for 2019/20.

Lavanini, 26, was first capped by the Pumas in 2013 and has since become a key member of the Argentina pack, earning 47 senior caps to date. He has previous experience of European rugby having played a season at Racing 92 in the Top 14 and is currently playing for the Jaguares in his home country.

The 25-year-old Leatigaga has played on both sides of the front row in European rugby with Piacenza in Italy and Biarritz in France, and made his first of five Test appearances for Samoa in 2016.

Norwich-born Clare, 27, came through schools rugby to join the Tigers Academy and earned England age-group honours before gaining senior experience in spells with Nottingham, Jersey, Loughborough Students and Bedford, where he earned a place in the Championship Team of the Year in 2014. He joined Northampton Saints in 2016 and returned for a second spell at Bedford, passing 100 appearances for the club.

A delighted Murphy said: “The guys that we’re bringing in will add strength and depth to our squad for next season, and will be good additions for us.

“We’re very lucky with some of the guys we’ve had this season, but we just want to support them and sign players who we hope will have a big impact in the Premiership.

“We’re signing guys with a huge amount of potential to fill, but we’ll assist them to try and get the very best out of them.”

The trio join fellow new recruits Calum Green, Jaco Taute, Noel Reid and Jordan Taufua in committing to the club for the 2019/20 season, as well as Tigers Academy graduate Manu Tuilagi who recently agreed a new deal at Welford Road.

Tuilagi is one of seven graduates to have renewed with Tigers this year as Harry Wells, Ben White, Tommy Reffell, Jordan Olowofela, Harry Simmons, Tom Hardwick and Sam Lewis have all pledged their futures to the club.

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