Brad Thorn: Leicester Tigers lock hails young stars after draw

Brad Thorn in action for Leicester against Saracens on Sunday
Thorn signed in the summer but his Tigers career has been disrupted by injury

Stand-in captain Brad Thorn lauded Leicester's young stars after a spirited comeback earned a 21-21 draw at home to Saracens on Sunday.

Tigers trailed 12-6 at the break and 21-18 in the closing stages but drew level with the last kick of the game.

"A lot of young guys showed character. We just kept fighting and staying in there," Thorn told BBC Radio Leicester.

"Staying in the fight, that takes character. Guys could have opted out but everyone opted in."

Hooker Harry Thacker, 20, impressed on his first Premiership start, while 22-year-old fly-half Owen Williams kicked seven penalties to earn his side two points.

Harry Thacker
Harry Thacker made his full Premiership debut on Sunday and only his fourth Tigers start in total. He came on against London Irish in the LV= Cup earlier this month and also scored a try when he started against Sale the following week.

Thorn, the veteran of the Tigers line-up at 39 years of age, said: "Owen missed a few goals early on and came back to kick the tying goal.

"I thought he showed some composure for a young lad. I tip my hat to him."

Summer signing Thorn, who won the World Cup with the All Blacks in 2011, became Leicester's oldest-ever captain during Sunday's match.

"It's a huge honour for me," he said. "I'm really proud to wear the jersey and represent the area and to captain the guys today. It means a lot."

Leicester have won three out of their seven Premiership matches and lie ninth in the table, equal with Sale and Gloucester on 16 points.

"We stuck in there and, to me, that's what the Tigers are all about," added Thorn. "We get the jersey, step forward and embrace the challenge. Let's hope we can keep growing on that."

Harry Thacker
Thacker has been involved in the first team because of injuries to Tom Youngs and Neil Briggs and Leonardo Ghiraldini's international call-up by Italy

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