Yaree Fantini’s rugby hero might be Leicester Tigers, England and British & Irish Lions flanker Neil Back but it’s another player who had a similar pathway that he has closer ties to.
Yaree’s stepuncle is Harry Ellis, who also played for Tigers, England and the Lions, and growing up he used to watch Ellis play regularly with stepfather Mark.
Yaree was part of the Tigers academy from the age of 16 to 18, playing under Brett Deacon, while he also played club rugby for Lutterworth RFC and at school level for Denstone College.
A serious back injury saw him take the best part of two years out of the game, from 2015 to 2017, but he came back to the sport while attending Northumbria University and studying psychology.
Yaree helped Northumbria to the BUCS national sevens title in 2017 when they beat Loughborough with the final play of the game and was then called into the England Sevens side on his performances. He made his debut for his country in the European Series tournament in Moscow in June 2017.
As well as his rugby talents, Yaree also competed in judo in his younger years, where he once came third in the British Nationals, while he is a keen follower of MMA.
Last updated: 25 January 2018