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Aviva Premiership
Tigers snap up Deacon and Phibbs
ESPN Staff
July 11, 2012
Wasps' Tim Payne and Gloucester's Brett Deacon square up, Gloucester v London Wasps, Kingsholm, England, September 25, 2010
Deacon will provide much needed back-row cover © Getty Images
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Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

Leicester Tigers have reinforced their injury-hit squad with the re-signing of former player Brett Deacon.

Deacon returns to Welford Road after two years at Gloucester and is joined by Australian scrum-half Pat Phibbs, who has linked up with the squad as short-term injury cover. Both players have arrived after Leicester were granted permission for injury dispensation following serious injuries suffered by scrum-half Ben Youngs and flanker Tom Croft.

Along with Croft, who is recovering from a neck injury, the Tigers are without flanker Craig Newby (knee) for the start of the new campaign. Fellow back-rower Jordan Crane is also a long-term absentee while Thomas Waldrom is likely to be heavily involved with England this autumn.

Phibbs, also 30, will act as cover for scrum-halves Micky Young and Sam Harrison with Youngs (shoulder) and academy No.9 Scott Steele (ankle ligament damage) both injured. Phibbs has made more than 70 appearances in Super Rugby before being released by the Brumbies in 2011 and played three games for the Exeter Chiefs last season.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "Brett has done well for Gloucester during the past couple of years and he already knows the environment well at Leicester. We have had some injury issues in the back row with Craig Newby and Tom Croft out, and Jordan Crane coming back from long-term injury.

"Brett has played more than 100 first-class games and can come in and fit in where we need him to because he has plenty of experience."

Cockerill added: "At scrum-half, Ben Youngs is out after shoulder surgery and Scott Steele has not done any pre-season because of the injury he picked up at the end of last season. "He will not play until the end of August so we need to have a bit of an insurance policy at scrum-half. Pat is that person and will be here for four months.

"Matt O'Connor (head coach) knows him well from his time at the Brumbies, and Pat knows the Aviva Premiership well because he was with the Exeter Chiefs last season."

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