Thursday, 3 January 2013

Worcester Match Preview

Tom Croft makes his long awaited return to fitness as Tigers name their side to face Worcester.  He is 1 amongst 12 changes as Tigers look to use their squad depth before taking on the Ospreys in the Heineken Cup. 

In the pack Louis Deacon is the only man to keep his place; Logovi'i Mulipola makes his first start for two months, whilst Marcos Ayerza will tie Alesana Tuilagi's appearance record for a non-British or Irish player.  Rob Hawkins replaces Tom Youngs, with Martin Castrogiovanni taking over from Dan Cole.  Ed Slater gets a chance to press his claims in the second row as Geoff Parling is rested and Graham Kitchener is on the bench.  Steve Mafi and Thomas Waldrom join Croft in the back row as all three make their returns from injuries of various lengths.  Mafi is no ground hog openside but all three need game time so needs must.

Toby Flood is named in the side after missing out last week with illness and is again due to make his 100th Premiership appearance, he will be partnered by Dan Bowden who will be looking to once again show how effective this partnership can be, their only other game together was a bonus point win against Exeter.  Matt Smith replaces a rested Manu Tuilagi at center, whilst Matt Tait and Scott Hamilton join Adam Thompstone in the back three.  The only other non-changed player is Ben Youngs at scum half. 

Worcester make 6 changes from the side that lost away to Sale, Johnny Arr comes in at scrum half, Sam Betty at 6, Jon Clarke in at 12, Dean Schofield at lock and Josh Drauniniu.  Tigers legend Andy Goode starts at fly half the week after he became the Warriors leading scorer in the professional era with 738 points in 73 games.

The referee has been named as JP Doyle.  Doyle has refereed the Tigers 10 times, most famously in last year's LV Cup triumph over near neighbors Northampton at Friday's venue of Sixways.  He also refereed the equivalent fixture last year, the Pyrrhic victory where Toby Flood and Louis Deacon both suffered bad injuries weakening us badly before the trip to Ravenhill.

In the 10 matches he has refereed Tigers have won 9, the sole defeat was this season's visit to Kingsholm where he did his best to make it 10 out of 10 by binning two Gloucester players in the closing stages.  He has sin binned 4 Tigers compared to 7 opposition players during those games.

Leicester Tigers
15 Mathew Tait
14 Scott Hamilton
13 Matt Smith
12 Dan Bowden
11 Adam Thompstone
10 Toby Flood
9 Ben Youngs
1 Logovi'i Mulipola
2 Rob Hawkins
3 Martin Castrogiovanni
4 Louis Deacon (c)
5 Ed Slater
6 Tom Croft
7 Steve Mafi
8 Thomas Waldrom
16 George Chuter
17 Marcos Ayerza
18 Dan Cole
19 Graham Kitchener
20 Julian Salvi
21 Micky Young
22 Anthony Allen
23 Niall Morris

Worcester Warriors:
15 Chris Pennell
14 Josh Drauniniu
13 Alex Grove
12 Jon Clarke
11 David Lemi
10 Andy Goode
9 Jonny Arr
1 Ceri Jones
2 Aleki Lutui
3 Euan Murray
4 James Percival (c)
5 Dean Schofield
6 Sam Betty
7 Matt Kvesic
8 Semisi Taulava
16 Ed Shervington
17 Matt Mullan
18 John Andress
19 Chris Jones
20 Neil Best
21 Ollie Frost
22 Danny Gray
23 Josh Matavesi

No comments:

Post a Comment