New signing Richard Thorpe gets his chance for Leicester Tigers
New signing Richard Thorpe intends to make the most of his starting debut after patiently playing the waiting game.
The 27-year-old replaces injured Julian Salvi in the line-up for today's Aviva Premiership trip to Sale.
It will be his first chance to show the club's supporters what he can do after being inactive for the opening five games of the season.
Thorpe joined from London Irish in the summer as one of the club's many back-row recruits in the wake of Ben Woods and Craig Newby's retirements, and the long-term injury to Tom Croft.
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With Salvi in outstanding form, Thorpe has had to wait for his opening.
Many people have trodden the same path. The likes of Geoff Parling and Graham Kitchener in recent years have both admitted to a sense of frustration at a lack of game time in their early months at the club.
Both men took their chances when they came and are now fully-fledged parts of the squad.
Thorpe is hoping to follow suit. "I was aware when I joined that Leicester are very strong in the back row and there is lots of competition," he said.
"My job is to keep myself in really good shape and up to speed with all the calls – and make sure that I am ready to drop in when my chance comes along."
Thorpe has not been let down in terms of his expectations since he joined the club after getting up, close and personal with the sometimes brutal training regime the club is known for.
"You are meant to expect a pretty physical first outing on the training pitch – and that delivered," he said.
"That has continued every week. It's a physical team and you train very hard but that is good.
"There is a lot of competition for places and it is a very competitive environment. You work very hard but that will get the best out of your game.
"I have experience of playing right across the back row but Richard Cockerill signed me as an open-side. I am happy to play wherever but I will be focusing at open-side."
Having only been around for a couple of weeks, Thorpe is already finding himself helping new arrivals like Michael Noone, Lucas Guillame and Wessel Jooste learn new calls.
"That's a bit bizarre," he said. But I am really enjoying myself."