Friday, 12 September 2014

5 changes as Tigers head to Sandy Park

Leicester Tigers welcome back British Lions duo Geoff Parling and Tom Youngs to the starting line up after the pair have recovered from minor knocks.  Also returning to the Tigers line up is Mat Tait, the 38 times England international, at full back and Anthony Allen to the centres.  Robert Barbieri makes his Premiership starting debut a week after his unusual control at the base of the ruck immediately endeared him to Tigers fans.

Niall Morris switches to the wing to make room for Tait, from last week's 23 Scully and Seremaia Bai miss out entirely with Matt Smith retaining his place on the bench.  Up front Ghiraldini drops to the bench where he joins Tiziano Pasquali and a first time in the match day squad for Riccardo Brugnara makes an all Italian replacement front row.  Brugnara and Pasquali impressed this Monday in the A league and deserve their place.

Tom Croft's much antcipated return is put off another week despite being named in the starting line up last time out.  In the back row Gibson continues at 6 with Crane dropping to the bench.

Exeter are coming off a 6 day turnaround but unsurprisingly keep the same XV that ravaged newly promoted London Welsh in Oxford.  That means an early encounter for Thomas Waldrom with his old mates.  Waldrom played 112 times for the Tigers and has won Premiership Player of the Season in the past.  He made an immediate impact for the Devonians touching down twice last weekend.

In the centres Exeter give youth its head by playing two 21 year olds; Henry Slade made his name at fly half  in England U-20's inaugural Junior World Cup win but now features at 13, Sam Hill was 12 in that final and stays at inside centre now.  The young pair will be a target for Manu Tuilagi, just 23 himself.

Exeter's captain so far this season has been local hooker Jack Yeandle.  Yeandle is originally a product of Crediton but cut his teeth with Doncaster before returning to Devon with his home town team.  He is joined in the front row by fellow battle hardened ex-Championship players Carl Rimmer, originally from Coventry but signed from Cornish Pirates, and Tomas Francis, 22, who joined this summer from London Scottish.

One change to the match day 23 sees Damian Welch come into the bench in place of Don Armand.

Tigers have played Exeter 9 times since their promotion in 2010 winning 6 and losing 3.  The league campaign has seen the same side win both fixtures in the season each time; Exeter won both games in 2011/12 with Tigers completing the double in the other 3 season.  

Saturday's referee is Irish Londoner J.P. Doyle.  Doyle has experience of this fixture after taking charge of the Tigers win in January 2011; Doyle has a reputation of letting the game flow but when he awards penalties he is not shy at waving cards about as Tigers found to their cost in last year's semi final. 

On average during last season's regular Premiership season the home side had to commit 40% more penalties than the away side before seeing a yellow card from Doyle; so Exeter's bumper 13,000 crowd at an expanded Sandy Park may well prove the decisive factor in what will be a tight game.

15 Mat Tait
14 Niall Morris
13 Manu Tuilagi
12 Anthony Allen
11 Vereniki Goneva
10 Freddie Burns
9 Ben Youngs (c)
1 Logovi'i Mulipola
2 Tom Youngs
3 Fraser Balmain
4 Graham Kitchener
5 Geoff Parling
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Julian Salvi
8 Robert Barbieri

16 Leonardo Ghiraldini
17 Riccardo Brugnara
18 Tiziano Pasquali
19 Sebastian De Chaves
20 Jordan Crane
21 David Mele
22 Owen Williams
23 Matt Smith

15 Chrysander Botha
14 Ian Whitten
13 Henry Slade
12 Sam Hill
11 Matt Jess
10 Gareth Steenson
9 Haydn Thomas
1 Carl Rimmer
2 Jack Yeandle (c)
3 Tomas Francis
4 Mitch Lees
5 Ryan Caldwell
6 Dave Ewers
7 Ben White
8 Thomas Waldrom
16 Elvis Taione
17 Ben Moon
18 Moray Low
19 Damian Welch
20 Kai Horstmann
21 Will Chudley
22 Ceri Sweeney
23 Jack Arnott

Referee: JP Doyle
Touch Judges: Paul Burton, Robin Goodliffe
TMO: Rowan Kitt

No comments:

Post a Comment