Catchpole ready to take next step with Leicester Tigers

George Catchpole.

George Catchpole. - Credit: Archant

Former North Walsham wing George Catchpole insists is not short of role models after he marked his first full season as a Leicester Tiger with an appearance at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series on Friday night.

The 19-year-old was part of the inexperienced side, led by ex-Ireland international Geordan Murphy, that booked its place in Friday's Series Finals at the Rec.

Catchpole, of St Olaves near Great Yarmouth, revelled in the opportunity to play in front of almost 10,000 fans at Franklin's Gardens, despite the hostile reception for the Leicester players as they recorded victory over the hosts Northampton and Sale Sharks.

And, after graduating from the Tigers academy this summer, the speedy winger is excited to follow in the footsteps of its best alumni.

'It's a massive step up in terms of skill level and pace,' he said. 'You don't really realise until you're in amongst it how well-drilled the top guys are. I'm just trying to learn off those guys and do my best.

'A lot of British Lions have come through the system, like Tom Croft, the Youngs brothers, Manu Tuilagi and Dan Coles. They are all role models and guys to look up to and follow their path through the system.'

The Tigers lost to eventual group winners Newcastle Falcons on Friday night, but victories over Sale Sharks and Northampton Saints saw them through to the Finals.

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Catchpole enjoyed the experience but, despite his eagerness to rub shoulders with the big boys as soon as possible, he is realistic about his first team opportunities this season.

'I would love to be in the mix with the first team as much as possible,' he added.

'It's a large squad so that might not always be possible, so I might be looking to go on loan.'

n For tickets to the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby Series Final at 7pm on Friday, August 9 at The Rec, Bath visit: bathrugby.com/tickets