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Tigers tie Croft to new deal
Premiership champions hold onto top English talent
Posted Dec 10, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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Leicester Tigers have scored a major coup by tying flanker Tom Croft to a new contract, ending speculation that Bath were ready to make a move for the talented 25-year-old.
Croft has been at the Tigers since he was a teenager, coming through the ranks in much the same way current England captain Lewis Moody did. And this education at one of the finest institutes of British rugby union has enabled him to go on and represent his country as well as the British and Irish Lions.
In fact, Croft’s rugby education started at the same place as Moody as both came through the impressive set-up at Oakham School in Rutland. Croft was taken there on a scholarship during his A-Level study and was part of the team that went on to win the Daily Mail Cup at Twickenham in 2002.
It was here where he really began to get noticed and it was clear that he had a big future ahead of him in the sport. Standing over six foot five inches and solid muscle, Croft is new breed of back rower and will go on to become one of the finest of his generation.
He has currently made 87 appearances for the Tigers, scoring 17 tries, since his debut in 2005 and has been a key figure for both club and country after announcing himself as a world-class talent on the Lions tour of South Africa in 2009.
As well as Bath, it is rumoured that many of the top French clubs were interested in his signature and Leicester will be delighted to have retained his services.
Leicester’s Director of Rugby, Richard Cockerill, said: “Everyone here is delighted that Tom has signed a new contract. His decision to re-sign shows that we can hold on to our top players. It’s not just about money, it’s about playing for the club you love and Tom appreciates this is a good environment to work in and improve in.”
There are rumours, and these don’t surprise me, that Croft was offered big money to jump ship and play elsewhere but it is good to see a professional athlete shown loyalty to the club that helped him get to where he is today.
There is no doubt this guy has a big future in the game and one thing is for sure, Leicester will be getting his best years.