Friday, 22 March 2013

Flood of Internationals return for Tigers

All 8 of Tigers players involved with this years Six Nations are recalled to the side as Tigers travel down to Exeter looking to maintain their push for a home play off semi final.  England players Manu Tuilagi, Toby Flood, Ben Youngs, Tom Croft, Geoff Parling, Tom Youngs and Dan Cole all start whilst Italian international Martin Castrogiovanni returns from the injury that ruled him out of his nations victory over Ireland to take his place on the bench.  

Tigers also see Anthony Allen return from the injury he sustained away to Quins to complete the Awesome Foursome in our midfield with Youngs, Flood and Tuilagi. Jordan Crane is preferred at number 8 to Thomas Waldrom, who started the last match at home to Sale, and completes a superbly balanced back row with Julian Salvi and Tom Croft on the flanks.

Toby Flood captains the side for the first time ahead of previous captains Jordan Crane and Tom Croft whilst Geordan Murphy and Louis Deacon are out injured.  Flood is a natural leader and it will be interesting to see how he handles being the main man; particularly when he has to make the call on whether to go for goal or kick to the corner.  Traditionally he favours the corner which is partly responsible for Tigers scoring more tries than any other Premiership side.

Mat Tait will play his 20th game and earn his club tie whilst Rob Hawkins is in line for his 50th appearance since he joined from Bath, should he feature from the bench.

Exeter make one change from the side that beat Harlequins at the Stoop as Hoani Tui replaces Alex Brown at tighthead prop.  Ex-Tiger Chris Whitehead comes onto the bench in place of Exeter stalwart Neil Clark.

Tomorrow's referee will be Tim Wigglesworth from Hull.  Wigglesworth has already refereed 3 Tigers games this season including the bonus point victory in the reverse fixture at Welford Road in September.  Whilst he has given 12 cards in 14 games this season he has only actually had to withdraw a card in 5 games as 4 cards (3 red and a yellow) came in the Tigers v Bath game and another 3 (red and 2 yellows) came in the Bath v Gloucester game.

Leicester Tigers
15 Mathew Tait
14 Niall Morris
13 Manu Tuilagi
12 Anthony Allen
11 Adam Thompstone
10 Toby Flood (c)
9 Ben Youngs
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 Tom Youngs
3 Dan Cole
4 Ed Slater
5 Geoff Parling
6 Tom Croft
7 Julian Salvi
8 Jordan Crane

16 Rob Hawkins
17 Logovi'i Mulipola
18 Martin Castrogiovanni
19 Thomas Waldrom
20 Graham Kitchener
21 Sam Harrison
22 George Ford
23 Matt Smith

Exeter Chiefs
15 Luke Arscott
14 Jack Nowell
13 Sireli Naqelevuki
12 Phil Dollman
11 Matt Jess
10 Gareth Steenson
9 Haydn Thomas
1 Carl Rimmer
2 Jack Yeandle
3 Hoani Tui
4 Dean Mumm
5 Damian Welch
6 Ben White
7 James Scaysbrook
8 Richard Baxter (c)

16 Chris Whitehead
17 Brett Sturgess
18 Craig Mitchell
19 James Hanks
20 Dave Ewers
21 Will Chudley
22 Henry Slade
23 Ian Whitten

The game is live on ESPN and kick off is 5 PM.

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