Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby Premiership Preview

Leicester Tigers host Gloucester at Welford Road

Leicester Tigers have named their team to play Gloucester at Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership and included both Telusa Veainu and Logovi’i Mulipola in the starting line up.

Tonga international Veainu starts at full-back, with Adam Thompstone selected on the wing after sitting out last week’s trip to Sale Sharks.

Mulipola returns to the front row after a one-match ban while club captain Ed Slater is at No8 and Lachlan McCaffrey is included again after missing the match at Sale.

Owen Williams is at fly-half alongside Ben Youngs, with Freddie Burns among the replacements.

Openside flanker Brendon O’Connor is included among the replacements after an absence due to a hamstring injury.

Leicester Tigers last seven fixtures have all been won by the home side on the day whilst their only defeat at Welford Road in their last 18 Aviva Premiership Rugby matches was to Sale on 6th February.

Gloucester Rugby have slipped to three successive defeats and have not lost four in a row in Aviva Premiership Rugby since November 2013.

Gloucester’s only away victory in the competition since round 1 came when they visited Bath on 5th February.

The Tigers only defeat in their last six encounters with Gloucester was 16-33 at Kingsholm in October 2014.

The Cherry & Whites have not own at Welford Road since October 2007.

Gloucester have named Ben Morgan to make his first appearance since mid February as one of seven changes.

The England international number eight last featured in the 28-6 victory over Harlequins at Kingsholm but returns to take his place in the Gloucester back row as the Cherry and Whites travel to Welford Road.

Other changes see Paul Doran-Jones start at tight head prop, Mariano Galarza come in to partner Tom Savage in the second row and Gareth Evans make his first start of the season on the blindside flank.

In the backs, there is a new look centre pairing in Mark Atkinson and Henry Trinder while Rob Cook takes over from David Halaifonua on the right wing.

The first meeting between the two sides this season went to the wire, prop Logovi’i Mulipola crossing for a last-ditch try to secure an 18-19 win for the Tigers at a sold-out Kingsholm.

So, Gloucester head to Welford Road looking to turn the tables on the redoubtable Tigers with Head Coach Laurie Fisher insisting that self-belief remains high despite a recent run of poor results.

“We’re disappointed with the results over the last few weeks, disappointed with some aspects of our game but encouraged by other aspects.

“But the important starting point for us is that we go there believing we can win. You have to meet their physicality, match the set-piece quality that they have and the extra quality out wide they’ve developed this year. There are plenty of challenges for us.

“But there’s plenty of belief in the squad. We hurt ourselves with errors last week, certainly in the last two weeks we’ve been in a position to go on and win the game midway through the second half. But through discipline or errors, we haven’t been able to close things out.

“We don’t need to panic or force things. We need to trust ourselves and turn up with the right attitude which I guarantee we will, with the right plan which I’m sure we’ve got and give a really good account of ourselves.”

The Bookies have given Gloucester an 11 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to £200 in Bonus bets.

Match : Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby
Date : Saturday 2 April
Venue : Welford Road,
Kick Off : 3.15pm
Live on: BT Sport
Match Officials
Referee :JP Doyle (111th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick & Paul Burton.
TMO: David Grasho

Teams

Leicester Tigers

15 Telusa Veainu , 14 Adam Thompstone , 13 Peter Betham , 12 Manu Tuilagi , 11 Vereniki Goneva , 10 Owen Williams , 9 Ben Youngs , 1 Logovi’i Mulipola , 2 Harry Thacker , 3 Dan Cole , 4 Dom Barrow , 5 Graham Kitchener , 6 Tom Croft , 7 Lachlan McCaffrey , 8 Ed Slater (c)

Replacements : 16 Greg Bateman , 17 Marcos Ayerza , 18 Fraser Balmain , 19 Sebastian de Chaves , 20 Brendon O’Connor , 21 Sam Harrison , 22 Freddie Burns , 23 Mathew Tait

Gloucester Rugby:

15. Tom Marshall; 14. Rob Cook, 13. Henry Trinder, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Steve McColl; 10. James Hook, 9. Greig Laidlaw (capt); 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Darren Dawidiuk, 3. Paul Doran-Jones; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Mariano Galarza; 6. Gareth Evans, 7. Matt Kvesic, 8. Ben Morgan

Replacements: 16. Luke Cole, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. John Afoa, 19. Elliott Stooke, 20. Lewis Ludlow, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Ollie Thorley, 23. Jacob Rowan

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