Freddie Steward ends speculation over future with new Leicester deal

Freddie Steward ends speculation over future with new Leicester deal - JULIAN SIMMONDS/TELEGRAPH
Freddie Steward ends speculation over future with new Leicester deal - JULIAN SIMMONDS/TELEGRAPH

England full-back Freddie Steward has ended speculation over his future by signing a new contract with Leicester Tigers.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past two seasons with club and country, winning 13 England caps since making his debut against the USA last year and becoming an automatic starter in Eddie Jones' side.

Telegraph Sport understands that Steward has signed a two-year contract extension, keeping him at Mattioli Woods Welford Road until the end of the 2024-25 season.

The Leicester academy product also won the Gallagher Premiership title with Tigers last season, and was named England Men's player of the year and young player of the year at the Rugby Player Association awards in May.

Steward is understood to have received a significant pay rise to remain at the club long-term, after having played on an academy-level salary last season while starting all of England's Six Nations and summer Test matches.

A number of other promising young players have come through Leicester's academy and been capped by England in recent months, with Steward joined by scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet, lock Ollie Chessum and prop Joe Heyes.

Head coach Steve Borthwick previously addressed Steward's contract status at the start of September, after negotiations had reached an impasse.

“I think he would be one that would want to stay and be part of a squad that is building with a young core of players,” Borthwick said.

“He’s an important part of this squad and, as ever, there is a balance,” added Borthwick. “You know the situation with the salary cap in terms of having a young group of players coming through together.

“They’re very good friends. They enjoy training with each other and enjoy playing rugby with each other. The young group of players we’ve got here is a very tight group.”

Leicester also announced on Wednesday the re-signings of England scrum-half Van Poortvliet and forward George Martin.

Borthwick said: “Jack is a dynamic, energetic player who possesses a great skillset which is a product of an incredible work ethic and hunger to improve. At only 21, Jack has captained Leicester Tigers on three occasions already and is a young man who is a leader of great character and ambition.

“George is a tough, ruthless, hard working player who puts in the effort every single day to improve. He has shown incredible resilience, as a very young man, in playing across the back row and at lock throughout his time in senior rugby."