Tom Croft played a key role in Leicester Tigers’ 33-16 Aviva Premiership semifinal win over Harlequins at the weekend, scoring a great try and making a very impressive try-saving tackle. They will face Northampton Saints in the final on May 25th.
Croft spent a large part of the season out recovering from a serious neck injury, but this year has returned strong, showing the kind of form that excited fans when he first came onto the scene.
The 27-year-old put in good performances in England’s last two Six Nations game, and has found his straps with Leicester, culminating in a Lions call up for the tour of Australia.
“We know how good Crofty can be. We have been very patient with him, and he’s been very patient with us. Our loyalty to those guys who get injured is always the same,” said Richard Cockerill.
Croft’s brilliant 50m sprint in the second half followed on from a vital try-saving tackle he made before the break, stopping Danny Care getting in for what looked like a certain try.
“The tackle on Danny was probably more important than my try because I should have been on the blind-side anyway,” Croft said. “We knew we could not give Quins a chance, and the defence was superb today, and that is what has won us the game.”
Harlequins’ Conor O’Shea paid tribute to both Leicester, and specifically, Croft. “Tom Croft is a very special athlete. But it is also the physicality he brings to the game – he is an incredible competitor.”
Would Tom Croft be in your Lions loose trio to start against the Wallabies?
Tom Croft’s excellent try-saving tackle on Danny Care in the first half
A quick highlights wrap of the semi final, courtesy of Premiership Rugby