A BRADFORD rugby union player with a rich family history has helped his club strike to a second successive title.

Prop James Whitcombe, who hails from Keighley and studies at Woodhouse Grove, is a member of the Leicester Tigers youth squad that secured champion status again in the Academy Under-18 League.

The academy side retained their second title in as many seasons with a hard-fought 34-31 victory over Gloucester Rugby U18s in front of 500 people at the Allianz Park in London on Sunday.

Leicester beat the same opponents in last year's final.

This time, the Tigers victory came in part thanks to Sam Costelow, who contributed 19 points to the Tigers score, as well as two tries from wing Joe Browning.

A second half score from hooker Archie Vanes wrapped up the points for Leicester, who saw off a spirited second-half display from their opponents.

Whitcombe has proved integral throughout his sides unbeaten season, starting every match, as well as fittingly captaining his side for the visit of Yorkshire Carnegie in January.

The Bradford lad bagged himself tries against Northampton Saints Academy and Newcastle Falcons U18s, as well as having a hand in a try against Sale Sharks Academy.

He will hope his consistent presence in the academy's successful season will take him the same way as his dad, Martin, who made 68 appearances for the Leicester Tigers in the 80s.

Whitcombe had already been called-up to the England U-18 squad for the South Africa tour last summer and he's now followed that up by making it into another youth squad.

The prop is part of 42-player roster, announced yesterday, for March's fixtures against Scotland and France ahead of April's Under-18 Six Nations Festival.