Leonardo Ghiraldini: Martin Castrogiovanni behind Leicester move

Leicester hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini says former Tigers Alex Moreno and Martin Castrogiovanni played a big part in his decision to join the club.

The 29-year-old Italy international joined from Treviso in May.

He told BBC Radio Leicester: "I played with them in Italy, they're good mates, but a bit crazy.

I'm really proud to be here. I played against the Tigers four times with Treviso. I saw the training ground, the gym. I really love their work, how they prepare for the match.

Leonardo Ghiraldi

"They spoke to me about how Leicester is and the supporters. I've seen that in the last few years, the incredible crowd and how loud their support is."

Ghiraldini, who has played 67 times for his country, said it was not just talking to fans' favourite Castrogiovanni and Moreno that convinced him to move to England.

"I'm really proud to be here," Ghiraldini said. "I played against the Tigers four times with Treviso. I saw the training ground, the gym.

"I really love their work, how they prepare for the match. That's what I found when I first met the management here.

"When I've played against the Tigers, they're patient, they work hard in the field and they always put in 100%.

"That's what I like. I love the Premiership too. I love how they prepare for the games, they're always organised. I will do my best to be involved in the team."

Tigers returned to training this week but do not start their new Premiership season until they welcome Newcastle Falcons to Welford Road on Saturday, 6 September.