Two of Oakham’s talented rugby players have been awarded contracts with Leicester Tigers, following a successful season in their Under-18 Academy.
Harry Glynn (fly-half) and Kit Smith (back row), who were both part of the Tigers’ Under-18 League-winning Academy, will step up to senior rugby next season as members of the club’s Development Squad. “It’s impressive that two Oakhamians were given contracts out of the six offered,” says Oakham’s Director of Sport, Iain Simpson. “This showcases that Oakham continues to be one of the leading training grounds for pupils looking to pursue a career in rugby.”
They will be joining fellow Old Oakhamian, Jack van Poortvliet (19), who has been offered a new contract with Tigers following an outstanding season where he was a part of the Under-18 League title win, along with playing for England U20. They will, however, miss playing alongside OO Sam Costelow (19) who, following an equally outstanding season, leaves Tigers having been offered a contract to join Scarlets, where he will continue to represent Wales U20.
Harry, a fly-half capable of playing at centre, has represented the Tigers Development XV in this season’s Premiership Rugby Shield campaign, as well as National League Club Leicester Lions, and is an Under-18 League winner at Tigers. Harry said: “I’m really thankful for this opportunity and really excited for the step up and the challenges to come.”
Back-rower Kit, who also gained a representative call this year, was also among four Tigers Academy players selected for the England Under-18 development tour to South Africa in August 2019. He said: “I have really enjoyed the experience playing with the Tigers Academy so far and I am looking forward to future opportunities to represent the team.”
Tigers’ Head Coach, Geordan Murphy said: “These are six highly impressive young men who have each played major roles in the success of our academy programme.” Whilst Ged Glynn, the club’s head of performance pathway and talent identification, adds: “It’s an exciting time for these young men who are beginning their professional careers next season and we are delighted to have them doing it at Tigers.”
Oakham’s strong links with Tigers go beyond just having Academy and professional players at the club; the Head Coach of the Academy is Old Oakhamian Matt Smith (04), who has, over the last year of being in post, been working with Kit, Harry and their team mates – demonstrating how the links between Oakham and Tigers continue to strengthen.