Tommy Reffell is the future of Welsh rugby – and will prove it in this season’s Premiership, says Leicester back row colleague Guy Thompson.
Reffell impressed as captain of Wales U20s at this summer’s Junior World Cup and is seen as a potential Red Dragons successor at No.7 to Justin Tipuric.
Thompson has no doubts, telling The Rugby Paper: “Tommy’s the future for Wales, the future for Tigers and for whoever he wants to play for.
“I hope he’ll stay at Leicester for a very long time because he’s an outstanding player.
“He’s got the ability to read the game, is so strong in the contact area and his attitude is superb.
“He’s already made a huge impact in the Premiership Cup and we know he’s a special talent.”
Thompson added: “Tommy will be pushing me all the way this season, I know that, and he’s always out there picking my brains about things.
“He always wants to learn, which is a massive plus for him and shows his work ethic.”
Thompson is confident that Leicester will bounce back from last season’s traumas to re-establish themselves as one of England’s top sides.
Ahead of Saturday’s league opener at Worcester, he said: “We’re not here to make up the numbers and we’ve had a really good pre-season.
“Coaching stability has helped and we gained good momentum with Premiership Cup wins over Exeter and Bath, so we want to carry that forward.
“Last season we didn’t believe we were a good enough side but now, with the new additions and younger lads coming through, we’re ready.
“Winning becomes a habit, just like losing does, and last season we got into a routine of not being able to close games out. That’s something we’ve really focussed on and we’re learning how to win again – and enjoying ourselves doing so.”
Thompson insists Tigers have addressed the defensive issues that saw them concede 81 Premiership tries last season – the worst record in the league.
He added: “Phil Blake has been superb in lifting our detail and we’re excited about defence now, whereas last season it was a chore.”
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