Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs Premiership Preview

Leicester Tigers host Newcastle Falcons at Welford Road

Leicester Tigers have named five senior international players in their line up for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership match against Exeter Chiefs at Welford Road.

Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Ben Youngs and Tom Youngs return after playing in England’s 55-35 victory over France at Twickenham last Saturday, and hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini returns after captaining Italy in his 75th Test cap last weekend.

Saturday’s fixture will be the 50th meeting between the two clubs, with Tigers recording 33 wins to the visitors’ 12 so far and four draws.

On a day of milestones, flanker Julian Salvi makes his 100th starting appearance for Tigers, while Geoff Parling plays his 150th Premiership game and Freddie Burns reaches 100 in the top flight.

Leicester Tigers have won their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures since their 12-32 reversal to Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop on 10th January.

Tigers have been defeated only once at Welford Road in Premiership Rugby since November 2013: to London Irish on 27th September.

Exeter Chiefs have won their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters since going down 26-28 to London Irish at Madejski Stadium on 11th January.

Leicester’s most recent match at Welford Road was also against the Chiefs, in the semi-final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup, with the Devonians winning 30-22 to end a five game losing run against Tigers.

The eight Aviva Premiership Rugby matches played at Welford Road this season have seen just 17 tries scored, Madejski Stadium is the next lowest, with 24.

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has recalled a large nucleus of those players who have sat out the recent LV block of games. Indeed, just two starters – Carl Rimmer and Mitch Lees – were involved in last Sunday’s final.

The inclusion of Lees means he packs down in the second-row alongside Damian Welch and skipper Dean Mumm reverts to the back-row alongside Dave Ewers and former Tiger, Thomas Waldrom, who will be making his first return to his old stomping ground.

The back division remains unchanged from previous premiership outings and will be spearheaded by fly-half Henry Slade, who was named the Premiership Player of the Month recently.

Match : Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs
Date : Saturday 28th March
Venue : Welford Road,
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: BT Sport / N.A
Match Officials
Referee :
JP Doyle (93rd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey and Andy Watson
TMO: Rowan Kitt.

Teams

Leicester Tigers

15 Mathew Tait, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs (c), 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Sebastian de Chaves, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza

Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Vereniki Goneva

Exeter Chiefs

15 Phil Dollman, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Jack Nowell, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Dean Mumm (c), 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Carl Rimmer

Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Ben White, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Tom James

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