Wasps v Leicester Tigers Premiership Preview

Wasps host London Irish at the Ricoh Arena

Leicester Tigers have named Mathew Tait and Matt Smith in their team to play Wasps in Aviva Premiership at the Ricoh Arena.

Full-back Tait withdrew in the warm-up ahead of last weekend’s bonus-point win over second-placed Exeter Chiefs but has recovered from a groin injury in time to start at the Ricoh Arena.

Smith joins Peter Betham at centre in the absence of Manu Tuilagi who is with the England squad to face Wales.

There is one change among the replacements, where on-loan prop Ellis Genge could make his Tigers debut after being included in the matchday squad for a first time.

George Tresidder continues as scrum-half cover with Sam Harrison ruled out by injury.

Wasps continue to be the best team in Aviva Premiership Rugby on current form despite their 10-13 reversal at Gloucester on Saturday.

Wasps have picked up 23 out of a possible 30 in their last six games and have not lost at Ricoh Arena in any tournament in 2016.

Leicester Tigers have secured successive maximum point wins, the first time they have achieved this since the end of the 2013/14 season.

Away from home the Tigers only victory so far in 2016 came when they visited Gloucester on 30th January and won 19-18.

Leicester have won their last four encounters with Wasps since their 22-12 defeat at Adams Park in Aviva Premiership Rugby in October 2013.

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has named an unchanged back-line for this match. In the front row, there are starts for loosehead Simon McIntyre and hooker Ashley Johnson, while Jake Cooper-Woolley again packs down at tighthead.

James Cannon and Kearnan Myall again form the second row partnership, while Thomas Young has recovered from last weekend’s illness to take his place in the back row alongside Sam Jones and George Smith, who skippers the side.

Dai Young said: “Whenever and wherever you play Leicester Tigers, you know you will always be in for a tough game. This match has huge relevance when it comes to the Premiership table, but to be honest Wasps v Tigers games always have huge significance anyway. These two clubs go back a long way and now of course there’s an extra bit of spice with it being a new Midlands derby, so that adds to this fixture as well.

“The next two home games are massive – Leicester Tigers followed by Sale Sharks on back-to-back weekends at the Ricoh Arena. Seven points separate the three teams, with Sale having a game in hand, so these next two weeks will have a big bearing on overall standings this season.”

The Bookies have given Leicester a 6 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to £200 in Bonus bets.

Match : Wasps v Leicester Tigers
Date : Saturday 12 March
Venue : Ricoh Arena,
Kick Off : 1.45pm
Live on: BT Sport
Match Officials
Referee :Greg Garner (94th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden & Paul Burton.
TMO: Trevor Fisher.



15. Rob Miller , 14. Christian Wade , 13. Charles Piutau , 12. Siale Piutau , 11. Frank Halai , 10. Jimmy Gopperth , 9. Dan Robson, 8. Sam Jones, 7. George Smith © , 6. Thomas Young , 5. Kearnan Myall , 4. James Cannon , 3. Jake Cooper-Woolley , 2. Ashley Johnson ,1. Simon McIntyre

Replacements : 16. Edd Shervington , 17. Matt Mullan , 18. Phil Swainston , 19. Will Rowlands , 20. Nathan Hughes , 21. Jamie Stevenson , 22. Alex Lozowski , 23. Brendan Macken

Leicester Tigers

15 Mathew Tait , 14 Adam Thompstone , 13 Peter Betham , 12 Matt Smith , 11 Vereniki Goneva , 10 Freddie Burns , 9 Jono Kitto , 1 Marcos Ayerza , 2 Harry Thacker , 3 Logovi’i Mulipola , 4 Mike Fitzgerald , 5 Dom Barrow , 6 Tom Croft , 7 Lachlan McCaffrey , 8 Ed Slater (c)

Replacements : 16 Michael van Vuuren , 17 Ellis Genge , 18 Fraser Balmain , 19 Graham Kitchener , 20 Mike Williams , 21 George Tresidder , 22 Owen Williams , 23 Telusa Veainu

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