Moody makes his return for Tigers against Sharks

Leicester Tigers have named Lewis Moody in a team which features a number of changes for their match against Sale Sharks.

Head coach Heyneke Meyer has rung the changes for this Friday’s home game with Lewis Moody making his first appearance of the season.

Craig Newby is also set to make his club debut while Seru Rabeni will be playing at Welford Road for the first time since March.

Ben Kay will lead out Tigers in the EDF Energy Cup Pool B fixture, which also features a return for wing Tom Varndell and a first home start for fly-half Derick Hougaard.

In a reshuffled backline, Matt Smith switches to full-back, Johne Murphy returns to the wing and Rabeni moves to partner Tom Youngs at centre. Julien Dupuy is alongside Hougaard at half-back.

Benjamin Kayser, who has been named in the France squad for the Test against Argentina next weekend, joins Boris Stankovich and Dan Cole in the front row of the pack, and Richard Blaze teams up with Kay at lock.

Moody is named at openside, with Newby gaining his debut at No8 and Brett Deacon completing the back row.

“There are a few of the seniors away, a few short-term injuries and we also need to rest a few, but there is still a chance to qualify for the semi-finals and it is also important to see the depth of the squad,” said Meyer.

“It is great to have Lewis Moody and Craig Newby in there, especially as we have been a bit short of back-row players. They have been brilliant in training and I’m looking forward to seeing them play.”

Leicester Tigers (v Sale Sharks, Friday October 31, 7.35pm)

15 Matt Smith, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Seru Rabeni, 12 Tom Youngs, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Julien Dupuy, 1 Boris Stankovich, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Richard Blaze, 5 Ben Kay (captain), 6 Brett Deacon, 7 Lewis Moody, 8 Craig Newby

Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies,17 Marcos Ayerza,18 Marco Wentzel, 19 Jordan Crane, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Ayoola Erinle, 22 Sam Vesty.

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