Young Leicester Tigers cubs impress No.8 Thomas Waldrom
Leicester Tigers No.8 Thomas Waldrom believes there are bright futures ahead for many of the club's young players who have been involved in the LV= Cup during recent weeks.
Tigers' defence of their Anglo-Welsh crown was ended with a heavy defeat by Llanelli Scarlets in Wales on Sunday.
But some of the club's brightest prospects showcased their talents, with the likes of Harry Wells, George Oliver and Fraser Balmain all getting game-time.
Waldrom was impressed by both their effort and potential.
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"There are quite a few young lads in the squad who have bright futures here," said the 29-year-old. "Someone like Harry Wells, for example, in the second row, faced his biggest game away from Welford Road at the Scarlets and he did really well.
"You have to take these chances when they come at Leicester, and guys like him played last week against Wasps as well. He made a good impact.
"Exposure in these games gives young guys an idea of what it is like to be out there and get yourself into a routine, which is important.
"Rugby is a funny old game and you have to get yourselves up for it 30-odd times a year.
"It's about learning to do the right things, and everyone at Tigers knows how to do that.
"The guys play for the jersey and there is a lot of pride in doing that."
Waldrom admitted that Tigers made too many mistakes to give themselves a chance of winning at the Parc Y Scarlets in a game that had nothing riding on it after Sale secured top spot in Pool Two the day before.
"It didn't really work out for us," he said.
"It was a bit weird waking up with nothing on the game. That doesn't happen very often at Leicester.
"That can be nice to go out and just play with not as much pressure on.
"But you cannot afford to make mistake after mistake like we did. It ruins momentum.
"If you do make a mistake, you need to get a positive out of the next thing you do, but back-to-back errors cost us. It was probably a mixture of them playing well and us switching off at times.
"It is disappointing to go out of the competition at this stage because it was good for so many young guys last season to get the experience of a big game like a semi-final."
He added: "Playing under that pressure is great for their development and a good stepping stone.
"But it is not going to happen for us this year."