Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers Premiership Preview

Worcester Warriors will host Leicester Tigers at Sixways Stadium

Leicester Tigers have named their team to play Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership at Sixways Stadium and brought back Vereniki Goneva and Owen Williams .

Both men missed the wins over Benetton Treviso in Europe and Bath Rugby in the last round of league action, but return for the weekend trip to Sixways.

Club captain Ed Slater leads the team after making his 100th appearance for the Tigers in the win over Bath, and he is joined in the second row by Graham Kitchener in his first start of the season.

There is some rotation in the forward pack with Matias Aguero starting in the front row for the first time and Jordan Crane returning at No8.

The replacements include international front rows Marcos Ayerza and Tom Youngs.

Worcester Warriors only victory in their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters was 28-20 at home to Newcastle Falcons in round 4.

The Warriors have lost only one of their last 22 home games at Sixways in all competitions: 26-30 to Bristol in the RFU Championship in April.

Leicester Tigers only defeat in any major competition since last season’s Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final came on a trip to Exeter in round 4.

Tigers have achieved only one try bonus point in Premiership Rugby in 2015 – at home to London Welsh in April.

Leicester have won their last 11 contests with Worcester in all tournaments, whilst the Warriors only two victories over the Tigers were both at Sixways in Premiership Rugby with a winning margin of four points in 2005 and 2008.

Worcester Warriors Director of Rugby Dean Ryan has made two changes for the match.

Tighthead prop Joe Rees, who bagged his first professional try at Twickenham last weekend, comes in for Nick Schonert while Matt Cox returns to the back-row in place of GJ van Velze.

Phil Dowson will skipper the side at number eight with Cox and Sam Betty supporting him in the back row.

In the pack, Na’ama Leleimalefaga lines up at loosehead prop next to Niall Annett and Rees while Donncha O’Callaghan and Darren Barry keep their spots in the second row.

The backline remains unchanged with the potent back three of Chris Pennell, Bryce Heem and Cooper Vuna, while Ryan Mills and Wynand Olivier start in the centre.

Jonny Arr continues at scrum-half after having signed a new contract with the Club earlier this week, while Tom Heathcote will look to pull the strings from the number ten berth.

Academy prop Gareth Milasinovich and flanker Marco Mama are named on the bench.

Ryan said: “All the big top four are coming in the next few weeks and over Christmas so let’s keep putting ourselves out there and let’s keep seeing where we are at and keep improving.

“We are at home and unbeaten at Sixways this season so let’s get ourselves out there.

“Leicester are not as clinical at certain things as Saracens but they are very physical at other areas.

“There’s a lot of talk about changes to their game but they don’t lose what Leicester are. The reason why they have been so successful is built on pretty solid foundations of physicality in key areas and I don’t expect that to change.”

The Bookies have given a 10 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to £200 in Bonus bets.

Match : Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers
Date : Saturday 5 December
Venue : Sixways,
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee :Wayne Barnes (158th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton & Andrew Pearce.
TMO: Sean Davey.



15 Chris Pennell , 14 Bryce Heem , 13 Wynand Olivier , 12 Ryan Mills , 11 Cooper Vuna , 10 Tom Heathcote , 9 Jonny Arr , 1 Na’ama Leleimalefaga , 2 Niall Annett , 3 Joe Rees , 4 Donncha O’Callaghan , 5 Darren Barry , 6 Matt Cox , 7 Sam Betty , 8 Phil Dowson (C)

Replacements : 16 Jaba Bregvadze , 17 Val Rapava Ruskin , 18 Gareth Milasinovich , 19 Tevita Cavubati , 20 Marco Mama , 21 Charlie Mulchrone , 22 Ryan Lamb , 23 Ben Howard

Leicester Tigers

15 Telusa Veainu , 14 Adam Thompstone , 13 Peter Betham , 12 Seremaia Bai , 11 Vereniki Goneva , 10 Owen Williams , 9 Sam Harrison , 1 Matias Aguero , 2 Greg Bateman , 3 Dan Cole , 4 Ed Slater (c) , 5 Graham Kitchener , 6 Mike Williams , 7 Tom Croft , 8 Jordan Crane

Replacements : 16 Tom Youngs , 17 Marcos Ayerza , 18 Fraser Balmain , 19 Dom Barrow , 20 Lachlan McCaffrey , 21 Jono Kitto , 22 Tommy Bell , 23 Matt Smith

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