Miles Benjamin aims to become a Test winger with Leicester Tigers move

Miles Benjamin Leicester Tigers new boy Miles Benjamin admitted it was a wrench to cross the Midlands from Worcester but is adamant he needed a new environment to kickstart his international ambitions.
Benjamin brought the curtain down on a try-laden five seasons with the Warriors with a trademark score against London Irish in his last appearance at Sixways.
That brought his tally in Worcester colours to 60 but despite constantly knocking on the door through the Saxons set-up, Benjamin is still waiting for his full England debut.
And with his career at a crossroads, the 24-year-old believes that it was a case of now or never when the Tigers came calling.
“It was a struggle,” he said. “It was always going to be difficult to leave Worcester but I needed a fresh start and I am looking forward to a new challenge.
“I would not go as far as to say I had gone stale at Worcester – I enjoyed my time there immensely but you need to try different things in your career.
“If I had signed again I would never have left. That would have taken me up to 26 and in all likelihood I would have seen out my days there.
“Quite a few people think I am older than I am – I have just turned 24. I am fortunate to have got opportunities at a young age and had the backing of some good coaches at Worcester.
“But I still feel my best years are ahead of me and that is part of the reason I have moved.
“I have never made any secret of the fact I want to be playing for England. I have had a few seasons in the Saxons and for whatever reason it has not quite happened for me yet.
“Maybe a change of environment will help in that regard – all I can do is focus on doing the best I can for Leicester and then the decision is up to other people.”
The assumption Benjamin is older than he is lies on his blistering debut season in 2007-8 as a fleet-footed 19-year-old.
Initially learning the ropes off Rico Gear, Benjamin soon displaced the All Black in the Warriors XV finishing his maiden campaign with 15 tries.
Certainly there are some big shoes to fill at Welford Road with Alesana Tuilagi now wreaking his own brand of havoc on a different continent.
Benjamin is well aware of the pressure placed on Tigers’ wide men to deliver a steady stream of tries, but is adamant he is not a direct replacement for the giant Samoan wing.
He said: “I guess there are always going to be comparisons like that but he’s a certain type of player and I am not trying to emulate anyone.
“I have my own style that has worked for me and I am not going to change it to be like someone else. I like to get one-on-one match-ups rather than relying on sheer power.
“I was lucky enough to be around some fantastic players at Worcester. Rico Gear brought that touch of magic and to be able to pick his and Chris Latham’s brain was brilliant. Then you have Marcel Garvey who has done the business in the Premiership for so many years, so I have tried to learn off all those guys.
“There are big expectations at a club like Leicester but that is true of all the players in the squad and we all have to do our best to live up to them.”
DANIEL SCHOFIELD

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