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England’s Rugby World Cup woe helps Norfolk’s Leicester Tigers talent Harry Simmons

PUBLISHED: 11:32 13 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:33 13 October 2015

Gresham's School rugby player Harry Simmons.

Gresham's School rugby player Harry Simmons.

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England’s dreams of World Cup glory may be over but the tournament has created a breakthrough opportunity for Norfolk teenager Harry Simmons.

The 17-year-old, from Lenwade, is looking to follow in the footsteps of Norfolk star Ben Youngs – after being handed his Leicester Tigers debut in the absence of his idol.

Youngs, and his older brother Tom, were unsuccessfully trying to prevent England crashing out in the pool stage of the home World Cup as Leicester pressed on with their pre-season preparations without them.

That opened the door for former Holt RFC youngster Simmons to make his first-team debut for Tigers in a recent friendly at Loughborough University, raising the Norwich-born scrum-half’s hopes for the future.

“It went really well, we won 43-12 and it was pretty good. I played about half an hour, it was my first game and I played at scrum-half and a bit at full-back as well,” Simmons said of his debut.

“Ben Youngs was away with England and they needed a scrum-half to fill in. I’d trained a bit with the first team during the summer so got called up.

“I was playing for Holt and got picked up for Leicester’s Elite Player Development Group when I was younger.”

For more on Simmons and Leicester’s other Norfolk links see today’s paper.

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