Leicester Tigers v Harlequins Premiership Preview

 Harlequins captain and flanker Chris Robshaw has failed a late fitness test and will miss his team’s Aviva Premiership semi-final against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.

Robshaw suffered the initial injury against Worcester Warriors in Round 21 so in the back row Luke Wallace continues at openside flanker with Maurie Fa’asavalu at blindside, one of two changes to the starting line-up, with captain and number 8 Nick Easter.

The second change sees Joe Gray starting at hooker where he is joined in the front row with Joe Marler and James Johnston.

There are no changes to the back line as Tom Casson and George Lowe continue their centre partnership.

Leicester Tigers have won their last twelve semi-final matches in all competitions since Wasps beat them, 22-17, at the Millennium Stadium in the last four of the Anglo-Welsh Cup in March 2006.

This is the Tigers fourth successive home Premiership semi-final, whilst they have not been defeated at Welford Road in a semi-final fixture since Gloucester were the visitors in the now defunct Cheltenham & Gloucester Cup in March 1998.

Tigers are bidding to reach a ninth successive Premiership final whilst their last four games in all tournaments have all been won by the home side on the day.

Harlequins are the defending Aviva Premiership Rugby champions and finished off the regular season with three successive wins against Bath, Worcester and Northampton.

This is Quins third appearance in the Premiership semi-finals, losing out at home to London Irish in 2009 and beating Northampton 25-23 at the Twickenham Stoop at this stage last year.

Harlequins have won their last three fixtures against the Tigers including last season’s final at Twickenham, in addition Quins have triumphed on their last two visits to Welford Road, denying the Tigers even a losing bonus point on each occasion.

The two clubs have met in seven previous semifinal encounters in all competitions with Leicester having the slight edge by four wins to three.

Leicester Tigers have named Mathew Tait and Dan Cole in their starting line-upafter being named among the replacements for last weekend’s bonus-point win over London Irish in Round 22 but reclaim their starting spots for Saturday.

Toby Flood will lead out the team as captain for the club’s ninth successive appearance in the Premiership semi-finals.

Match : Leicester Tigers v Harlequins
Date : Saturday 11 May
Venue : Welford Road
Kick Off :3pm
Live on : Sky
Referee: Greg Garner (50th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Stuart Terheege and Gordon Goodliffe
TMO: Geoff Warren.


Leicester Tigers

15 Mathew Tait , 14 Niall Morris , 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi , 12 Anthony Allen , 11 Vereniki Goneva , 10 Toby Flood (c) , 9 Ben Youngs , 1 Logovi’i Mulipola , 2 Tom Youngs , 3 Dan Cole , 4 Graham Kitchener , 5 Geoff Parling , 6 Tom Croft , 7 Julian Salvi , 8 Jordan Crane

Replacements :16 Rob Hawkins , 17 Fraser Balmain , 18 Martin Castrogiovanni , 19 Steve Mafi , 20 Thomas Waldrom , 21 Sam Harrison , 22 George Ford , 23 Matt Smith


15. Mike Brown , 14. Tom Williams , 13. George Lowe , 12. Tom Casson , 11. Ugo Monye , 10 Nick Evans , 9. Danny Care, 8. Nick Easter (c), 7. Luke Wallace , 6. Maurie Fa’asavalu , 5. George Robson , 4. Olly Kohn , 3. James Johnston, 2. Joe Gray, 1. Joe Marler

Replacements : 16. Rob Buchanan , 17. Mark Lambert , 18. Will Collier , 19. Charlie Matthews , 20. Tom Guest , 21. Karl Dickson , 22. Ben Botica , 23. Ross Chisholm

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