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Young Gun: Henry Purdy – Leicester centre

Henry Purdy In all the machinations and hand-wringing behind the scenes at Wasps this summer Henry Purdy was one of the people to pay the price of the club’s financial woes.

However a silver lining soon appeared for the young centre with Leicester snapping him up.

An England U18, Club and Schools international, Purdy has already made his Tigers mark with five tries in three A-team starts.

Having lined up alongside Mathew Tait and Dan Bowden among others Purdy admits his summer of uncertainty could not have worked out any better.

He said: “The move to Leicester has been brilliant for me. It’s different to what I had at Wasps and at school before but I feel like it’s been easy to settle in.

“There is a lot of face time with the coaches and then just to be in training with some of the guys at Leicester is incredible.

“I had to pinch myself when I was getting ready for an A-team game and changing next to Mat Tait.

“We get to train alongside people like Ben Youngs so it’s vital to learn from them and apply what they do well to my game.

“This summer at Wasps it got to the situation with their money issues that they couldn’t keep me on so it’s great that Leicester came in.

“I’d been at Wasps since I was 16 but it’s a very different set-up at Leicester. Wasps were quite focused on the AASE league as well as the academy whereas everyone is together here.

“When we started the season I remember speaking to a few of the academy lads and we all agreed it would be tough to get many games in the A-League because of the strength in depth of the first team squad.

“I got a chance off the bench when Miles Benjamin got injured against Northampton and had about 40 minutes on the wing. It was a bit different for me as I’m more used to playing in the centres. The good thing is after that game I was picked to start the next one”

Leicester’s academy has consistently brought through players on to the international stage with Dan Cole, the Youngs brothers and Manu Tuilagi the most recent examples.

Beyond his Leicester ambitions Purdy also revealed he is targeting a place with England’s U20s.

He said: “I’m an U19 now so it’s a year where I have the chance to, hopefully, be involved with a couple of training camps and the odd game to show what I can do.

“My real aim is to get into that U20s side and I think it’s a realistic target. If I keep working hard and getting the opportunities like I have at Leicester that will enable me to prove myself.

“I know some other lads have had the chance to show what they can do at training camps and kicked on from there.”

Purdy’s move marked quite a change for him, leaving home for the first time. However having moved in with fellow academy trainee Luke Jones, he insists he is relishing his independence.

He added: “We’ve got quite a good deal with Matt Cornwell, our skipper in the A-team, who had a house in the area and has sorted us out with Luke.

“We get on really well and even though it was a big move to leave home I’m being kept busy by Leicester.”

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