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Leicester Tigers have named International tighthead prop Dan Cole in their starting team to play Sale Sharks in the Anglo Welsh LV= Cup at Welford Road on Sunday.
Cole, 27, has not played since gaining his 45th England cap during the 2014 Six Nations but has been given the go-ahead to play again after recovering from surgery on a neck injury.
He starts among the replacements for Sunday but director of rugby Richard Cockerill says he will gain some game-time in the second round of this season’s knockout competition.
Freddie Burns, Miles Benjamin, Adam Thompstone and captain Sam Harrison provide experience in the Tigers backline as Cockerill rotates the squad.
In the forwards there is a first start for Academy lock Joe Maksymiw and a first start for number eight Ed Milne after making his debut from the bench in the win over London Irish last weekend.
Samoa international prop Aniseko Sio joins Cole among the replacements and there is a call-up for Academy back-rower Stone Priestley-Nangle for the first time after gaining ‘A’ League experience this season.
Meanwhile, Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond has again rotated members of the squad, giving opportunities to players.
Nick McLeod makes his first start at fly-half since the home defeat to Northampton in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals in April.
Match : Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks
Date : Sunday 9 November
Venue : Welford Road
Kick Off : 15:15 GMT
Live on: Sky Sports
Referee: Darren Gamage (England)
Assistant referees: Ross Campbell (England), Gordon Goodliffe (England)
Television match official: David Grashoff (England)
Timekeeper: Mike Hamlin (England)
Assessor: Steve Leyshon (England)
15 Tommy Bell, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Oli Bryant, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Sam Harrison (c), 8 Ed Milne, 7 Charlie Beckett, 6 Harry Wells, 5 Sebastian De Chaves, 4 Joe Maksymiw, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Tom Bristow.
Replacements: 16 Jake Farnworth, 17 Riccardo Brugnara, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Aniseko Sio, 20 Stone Priestley-Nangle, 21 David Mele, 22 Jack Roberts, 23 Charlie Thacker.
15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Andy Forsyth, 12 Sam James, 11 Phil MacKenzie, 10 Nick McLeod, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (capt), 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 3 Ross Harrison, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Darren Fearn, 18 James Flynn, 19 Magnus Lund, 20 Andy Hughes, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Charlie Ingall.
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