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George Martin: England star agrees new deal with Leicester Tigers

Martin played a starring role for England in the Rugby World Cup and has now agreed to remain with Tigers, after coming through the club's academy; the 22-year-old lock has agreed a "multi-year deal" to stay with Leicester

England forward George Martin rises to win a lineout during the Rugby World Cup Pool D match between England and Samoa at the Stade Pierre Mauroy during this year's tournament. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Image: Martin was one of England's best performers at the World Cup in France

England lock George Martin has agreed a new contract with Leicester Tigers after playing a starring role at this year's Rugby World Cup.

The 22-year-old was a standout for Steve Borthwick's side throughout the tournament and put in a memorable performance against South Africa in the semi-final.

He now seems destined for a glittering international career, having made the breakthrough initially into the Tigers squad back in 2019.

Martin returned to Tigers action in Sunday's Investec Champions Cup victory over Stade Francais and his physical power in defence and with ball-in-hand were just as evident as it was on the world stage in Paris back in October.

Unsurprisingly, Tigers have moved to tie down their star academy graduate, with a "multi-year deal" being announced by the club in a statement.

Martin said: "I'm really happy to be staying with Tigers."

"Coming through the Academy here, I get to come into work every day, play for a great club with my mates and I'm excited to work with Dan (McKellar, Tigers head coach) and develop in the program that we have here.

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"It was great to get back on the field last week and Exeter is another big challenge for our group but playing for this club, in Leicester, is special. I'm looking forward to getting back home to Mattioli Woods Welford Road."

England's George Martin clashes with South Africa's Cobus Reinach
Image: George Martin clashes with South Africa's Cobus Reinach during the fraught World Cup clash in October

Leicester general manager Richard Wilks admitted the Rugby World Cup showcased to the world what the Tigers have known for a while with Martin: that they have an absolute star on their hands.

"For our club, seeing a young man come in as an academy player and develop to where George is now, knowing he's still got so much growth, is tremendously rewarding," said Wilks.

"The Rugby World Cup showed where George is going as a player and he's brought that experience back to our environment and showed what a leader he can become in the future.

"He's a player with Tiger's DNA running through him; tough, physical and committed and we're delighted he's committed his future to the Club."

A graduate of club's academy, Martin made his debut in 2019 and has earned 69 caps for the club to date, including an appearance off the bench in the 2021/22 Premiership final.

Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar said: "George is an exceptional young player with the potential to grow in our program.

"At 22, he's already got the physical tools and the mentality to perform at a high level and I've been really impressed with him since he's returned to the club from the World Cup."

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