Friday, 27 September 2013

AA gets 100th Call Out

Anthony Allen is set to make his 100th start for the First XV, as he is recalled to replace Dan Bowden in the centres.  Tigers make 7 other personnel changes along with several positional switches as they search for their best side to send to Ulster in two weeks.

In the back three Niall Morris comes in at full back and Blaine Scully moves to wing.  Thompstone is retained on the left wing whilst Vereniki Goneva moves to outside centre in place of the injured Manu Tuilagi.  Allen plays 12 as Flood and Youngs continue at half back.

The pack sees 4 changes as Tom Youngs and Dan Cole are recalled to the front row, Logovi'i Mulipola switches back to loosehead after starting on the otherside last week.  Louis Deacon is recalled at Lock as Ed Slater moves to 6 to accommodate him. 

Julian Salvi regains his mantel at 7 from Jamie Gibson who is on the bench.  Jordan Crane and Geoff Parling keep their shirts from last week.

Owen Williams is again preferred to Ryan Lamb on the bench whilst the form of Bowden gets some reward as he is retained in the match day 23.  Sam Harrison could make his seasonal debut as he replaces David Mele on the bench.

Exeter make one change from the side which last week won away at London Irish.  Zimbabwean number 8 Dave Ewers has recovered from a hamstring injury and replaces Ben White in the starting line up.  

Exeter still start with 7 of the side that won the championship in 2010, including both half backs: Coventry's Haydn Thomas and Ulster's Gareth Steenson.  Steenson is joined by one of the Chief's newer singings a fellow Ulsterman Ian Whitten.  

Tigers fans will remember Welshmen Phill Dollman, who scored 2 tries at Welford Road as Exeter roared to a half time lead in 2010,and Tom James who scored the last minute try for Cardiff Blues to force extra time in 2009's Heineken Cup Semi-Final.  James had a kick to win the penalty shoot out that day, taking Cardiff's 5th kick, but put it wide allowing Hamilton to equal the scores and Jordan Crane to eventually send us to our 5th Heineken Cup final.

Sunday's referee will be Tim Wigglesworth from Hull.  Wigglesworth has refereed 3 out of the last 4 clashes between the two sides including both of last season's encounters.  Given that at the time Exeter certainly felt hard done by after his performance in this fixture last March his appointment is unnecessarily controversial.  

This is typical Premiership Rugby.  It is a pressure that the referee could be feeling and is completely avoidable.  It is also, for me, not good practice to appoint only one referee for any particular fixture so often.  For instance Exeter could feel that some of Wigglesworth foibles help Leicester and hinder them.  A mix of refs avoids this.  

Exeter will go into this game full of confidence after winning 3 of the last 5 fixtures between the two sides including 2 out of 3 games down at Sandy Park.  

Tigers will be looking to use their heavy-jumbo formation to batter the Chiefs midfield, especially the 10-12 channel between teenager Sam Hill and fly half Steenson, then unleash the pace and power of the "Back Four" of Goneva, Thompstone, Scully and Morris.  It is a muscular back line but will be missing the irreplaceable Manu Tuilagi.

Tigers will be looking for a win so that we can protect our vital half backs against Northampton next week in preparation for the trip to Ulster the week after.

Leicester Tigers
15 Niall Morris
14 Blaine Scully
13 Vereniki Goneva
12 Anthony Allen
11 Adam Thompstone
10 Toby Flood (c)
9 Ben Youngs
1 Logovi'i Mulipola
2 Tom Youngs
3 Dan Cole
4 Louis Deacon
5 Geoff Parling
6 Ed Slater
7 Julian Salvi
8 Jordan Crane

16 Neil Briggs
17 Boris Stankovich
18 Fraser Balmain
19 Graham Kitchener
20 Jamie Gibson
21 Sam Harrison
22 Owen Williams
23 Dan Bowden

Exeter Chiefs: 
15 Phil Dollman
14 Ian Whitten
13 Jason Shoemark
12 Sam Hill
11 Tom James
10 Gareth Steenson
9 Haydn Thomas
1 Brett Sturgess
2 Jack Yeandle
3 Hoani Tui
4 Dean Mumm (c)
5 Damian Welch
6 Tom Johnson
7 James Scaysbrook
8 Dave Ewers
16 Chris Whitehead
17 Ben Moon
18 Carl Rimmer
19 Tom Hayes
20 Ben White
21 Dave Lewis
22 Henry Slade
23 Matt Jess

Exeter Kit:

Leicester Kit:

TV: BT Sport1HD, Sky 413, Virgin Media 549, 1PM (Kick Off: 2 PM)

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