Leicester Tigers v Saracens Premiership Preview

Leicester Tigers host Saracens at Welford Road

Leicester Tigers have named Owen Williams in their team to play Saracens at Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.

Williams has made two appearances as a replacement since his recovery from a broken jaw and will start at centre alongside Peter Betham this weekend.

Tommy Bell is at full-back with Mathew Tait ruled out after suffering concussion at Wasps last weekend in the only other change to the backline.

Graham Kitchener comes into the second row alongside Dom Barrow, with Mike Fitzgerald moving to the back row and the team will be led by Jordan Crane who starts at No8 in place of the injured Ed Slater.

Greg Bateman and Opeti Fonua have recovered from injury and are named among the replacements.

Leicester Tigers last four matches have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Tigers solitary defat at Welford Road in any tournament in the last twelve months was 3-10 to Sale on 6th February.

Saracens have perhaps surprisingly picked up two more league points on their travels this season than they have at home.

Sarries only defeat in the last four rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby was 15-20 at home to Northampton in Round 15.

The Tigers only victory over Saracens in their last eight encounters in all competitions was 31-27 in round 22 in season 2013/14.

Saracens have won just once at Welford Road since September 2011: 32-27 in February 2013.

Saracens have included Schalk Brits in their team for this match as he has served his three week suspension and will join Richard Barrington (loosehead) and Juan Figallo (tighthead) in the Sarries front row,.

Brits will also line-up alongside fellow former Springbok international Alistair Hargreaves, with the second row forward returning to the starting line-up take his place alongside Jim Hamilton at lock.

In the back row, Kelly Brown comes in at openside flanker to join Michael Rhodes (blindside flanker) and Jackson Wray (No8).

In the backs, Alex Goode will return from Paris to start at full-back, and will join Mike Ellery and Chris Wyles in the Sarries back three.

At centre, Marcelo Bosch recovers from the illness that saw the Argentine as a late withdrawal from Saracens win over London Irish in New Jersey and is joined by Brad Barritt in midfield.

The evergreen Neil de Kock comes in at scrum-half and will join fly-half Nils Mordt in the halves.

Match : Leicester Tigers v Saracens
Date : Sunday 20 March
Venue : Welford Road,
Kick Off : 3.15pm
Live on: BT Sport
Match Officials
Referee :JP Doyle (108th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff & Robin Goodliffe.
TMO: David Sainsbury.

Teams

Leicester Tigers

15 Tommy Bell, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham , 12 Owen Williams, 11 Vereniki Goneva , 10 Freddie Burns , 9 Jono Kitto, 1 Marcos Ayerza , 2 Harry Thacker, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola , 4 Dom Barrow, 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 8 Jordan Crane (c)

Replacements : 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Tom Croft , 20 Opeti Fonua , 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Matt Smith, 23 Telusa Veainu

Saracens

15 Alex Goode, 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles , 10 Nils Mordt , 9 Neil de Kock, , 1 Richard Barrington , 2 Schalk Brits , 3 Juan Figallo, 4 Jim Hamilton , 5 Alistair Hargreaves , 6 Michael Rhodes, 7 Kelly Brown, 8 Jackson Wray

Replacements : 16 Dave Porecki, 17 Titi Lamositele , 18 Petrus Du Plessis , 19 Hayden Smith , 20 Will Fraser , 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Nick Tompkins , 23 Ben Ransom

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