Liebenberg gets new role at Leicester
NEWS: Ellis Genge has been appointed Leicester Tigers club captain and South African Hanro Liebenberg has been named vice-captian ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Genge has made 89 appearances for Tigers since his debut in 2016.
The front row moved to Leicester from Bristol, initially on loan, in the final months of the 2015/16 campaign.
In his first full season at the club, he received the Young Player and Best Newcomer awards as well as being named Premiership Rugby discovary of the Season and earned a nomination for RPA Young Player of the Year.
Capped on 30 occasions by England, the 26-year-old has been a regular in the national squad since his Test debut in May 2016, shortly after breaking through with Leicester Tigers.
Speaking about the appointment of Genge, Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick said: “Ellis epitomises what we, Leicester Tigers are about; hard work, toughness and a desire to continue to improve.
“He has set the example in everything that he does, on and off the pitch, since I arrived at Tigers and possesses a great ability to bring people together.
“It gave me great pleasure to appoint Ellis as club captain, but even more pleasure to see the reaction from his team-mates to the news of his appointment.”
Joining Genge in a new-look Tigers leadership pairing is Liebenberg, who has been appointed vice-captain.
The 26-year-old is entering his third season with Tigers after arriving from South Africa ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
Liebenberg has made 36 appearances for Leicester since September 2019 and was voted Supporters’ Player of the Year at the conclusion of last season.
Speaking about Liebenberg’s appointment, Borthwick said: “Everyone can see the quality that Hanro brings as a player in each and every game we play.
“Every day he brings that quality to our training, setting the standard for others to follow.
“He thinks deeply about the game and his experience of playing in South Africa, France and England adds to the great depth of understanding he brings.”
Discussing the appointments, Borthwick added: “Ellis and Hanro together are a great combination to lead this Leicester Tigers playing group.
“We are also fortunate to have a strong group of senior players at Leicester Tigers who will be a great support to Ellis and Hanro in what they bring to the leadership roles.”
Genge follows fellow front-rower Tom Youngs as Leicester Tigers club captain.
The 34-year-old has made 215 appearances for Tigers since December 2006 and first led the club during the 2014/15 season.
The 62nd club captain in Tigers’ 141-year history, he has made 98 appearances as captain to sit in 14th place on the all-time list of matches as skipper.
Looking at Youngs’ contribution to the club as captain, Borthwick said: “Tom Youngs has been an exceptional leader for Leicester Tigers for several seasons and, while not as captain, he will continue to be a senior player in our group.
“His time as club captain has been during one of the toughest periods in the club’s history and Tom has been integral to building the foundations to help turn Tigers around, which he is committed to being a part of in a different way this season.
“He is as passionate a clubman as I have come across and, in every way, thinks of the team and his teammates before himself, including his decision to stand down from the role ahead of this season.
“Tom is owed a great amount of praise for having done the job of club captain at Leicester Tigers to the level he has and in the manner, he has since 2015.”