Leicester Tigers have announced that they have agreed new contracts with six players in their senior squad as well as a player from their senior academy.
Ollie Chessum, Will Hurd, Julián Montoya, Guy Porter, Harry Wells and James Whitcombe have inked new deals with the Premiership side ahead the 2022/23 campaign.
Leicester Tigers is the only club the six players have represented in the Premiership, while Wells and Whitcombe have graduated from the team’s academy.
In addition to the six senior squad players, Leicester Tigers’ senior academy second-row Lewis Chessum has also signed a new contract.
Steve Borthwick delighted
Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick is delighted that the seven players have decided to stay on at the Welford Road-based side.
“It is incredibly pleasing to be able to announce these new deals with all seven of these players,” he told the club’s official website.
“Each of these young men has worked incredibly hard for the club and been integral to what we are building at Leicester Tigers.
“Their new deals are the reward for their efforts and commitment to Tigers, to their teammates and to our supporters.
“I feel privileged to be able to continue to be a part of their journey as players and am excited that they will continue them as part of Leicester Tigers.”
Ollie Chessum returned to Leicester in 2020 from Championship outfit Nottingham after previous experience as part of the Tigers’ academy programme.
A versatile forward, who can play at lock and across the back-row, he established himself quickly as a fan favourite among Tigers supporters in two years at the club. He has made 31 appearances and started in the 2021/22 Premiership Final win against Saracens.
Chessum earned a senior England call-up during this year’s Six Nations and made his Test debut in the away victory against Italy in Rome.
Leicester-born Hurd moved to the Tigers in February 2021 from United Rugby Championship club Glasgow Warriors.
The front-row played his junior rugby for Ashby RFC and attended Ashby School and Loughborough College before making his debut as an age-grade international for Scotland during the 2019 Six Nations and Junior World Championship.
Hurd earned his senior Tigers debut during the latter part of the 2020/21 season and made his Premiership bow during the club’s victorious 2021/22 league season.
Montoya joined Leicester midway through the 2020/21 campaign after captaining Argentina through their best-ever Rugby Championship season, which included their first-ever victory over New Zealand.
The 28-year-old hooker made his Test debut at the age of 19 and has gone on to represent Argentina in almost 80 matches. He became Los Pumas’ captain in 2020 and was voted Leicester Tigers’ Players’ Player and Supporters’ Player of the Year for the 2021/22 season. He started at hooker in the 2021/22 Premiership Final victory over Saracens and played in 21 matches during the campaign.
Porter joined Tigers midway through the 2019/20 campaign after an impressive club career in Australia which included consecutive Shute Shield titles with Sydney University – the second as skipper.
The English-born utility back has played in both centre positions as well as wing in close to 50 appearances for the Tigers, including starting at inside centre in the 2021/22 Premiership Final.
He made his international debut in England’s 2-1 series win over the Wallabies in Australia last month. Porter was in the matchday squad in all three internationals and started the second and third Tests at outside centre.
Wells appeared in 33 games during Leicester’s 2021/22 season which was the second most of any player in their senior squad.
The second-row graduated from the Tigers academy in 2011 and spent some time playing for Bedford and Nottingham before returning to Leicester ahead of the 2016/17 season.
Test debutant in 2021
He won Anglo-Welsh Cup with the club in 2017, made his England Test debut against Canada in 2021 and was a member of the matchday squad in the 2021/22 Premiership Final.
Whitcombe had a breakthrough campaign during the 2021/22 season as he made 16 senior appearances – including a debut Premiership start during the Tigers’ successful league campaign.
The front-row graduated from the Tigers academy ahead of the 2019/20 season after featuring in back-to-back U18 league-winning campaigns.
A second-generation Tiger, Whitcombe’s father – Martin – played in 68 matches for the club.
Lewis Chessum graduated from the Tigers Academy at the end of the 2020/21 campaign. The younger brother of fellow Leicester second-row Ollie, Chessum made his senior club debut during the 2021/22 Premiership Rugby Cup tournament after a loan stint at partner-club Nottingham Rugby.