Leicester Tigers v Worcester Premiership Preview

Leicester Tigers have won their last six matches in all competitions and are the only team in Aviva Premiership Rugby to have scored over 50 tries this campaign, in fact scoring 11 more than any other side.


Leicester Tigers are unbeaten in their last eleven encounters at Welford Road.


Worcester Warriors’ last ten matches in all tournaments have been won by the home side on the day. Worcester’s only victory away from home in the Premiership since April 2009 was 6-0 at London Wasps on New Year’s Day 2012.


Leicester have won their last five fixtures against the Warriors, whilst Worcester have never won in their nine previous to Welford Road since 1895.


Worcester Warriors have named number Eight Blair Cowan in their starting line up as Head Coach Richard Hill makes just two changes to a winning side.


Cowan is rewarded for a sensational display off the bench against Newcastle Falcons last week with a starting spot.


Flanker Matt Kvesic is also named in the back row, alongside Sam Betty, as Jake Abbott is ruled out with a twisted ankle.


Joe Carlisle (thumb), Errie Claassens (knee), Andy Short (shoulder) and Richard Muagututia (cheek) are also unavailable due to injury.


“Leicester are playing at the top of their game at the moment, they are a fantastic team, so we are under no illusions that our defence has to be the best that it has this season,” said Hill.


“Leicester are capable of putting pressure on you 80 minutes so it’s going to have to be a huge defensive performance and to beat them.


“We are going to have to score tries, it’s not going to be one of those games where there’s going to be three to six points in it by penalty kicks.


“They will keep the ball in hand and they have to get a try bonus point against us because they have got a tough run-in.


“We are going to be prepared for that so we are going to have to score at the other end as well. With that in mind we are going to have to find some chinks in the Leicester armoury, and there’s not many there.”


International trio Tom Croft, Martin Castrogiovanni and Alesana Tuilagi return to the Leicester Tigers starting XV.


Croft and Castrogiovanni were selected among the replacements in last weekend’s win at London Irish, with England back-rower Croft claiming the bonus-point try in the last minute of the game.


Tuilagi returns after missing the London Irish match due to illness and centre Anthony Allen is included in the backline for the first time since his recovery from a knee injury.


Ed Slater and Sam Harrison return to the matchday squad after injury.


Match : Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors
Date : Friday 30th March
Venue : Welford Road
Kick Off : 7.45pm
Live on: ESPN
Referee: Wayne Barnes (104th Premiership game)


Teams


Leicester Tigers


15 Geordan Murphy (c) , 14 Scott Hamilton , 13 Manu Tuilagi , 12 Anthony Allen , 11 Alesana Tuilagi , 10 Toby Flood , 9 James Grindal , 1 Marcos Ayerza , 2 George Chuter , 3 Martin Castrogiovanni , 4 Ed Slater , 5 Graham Kitchener , 6 Tom Croft , 7 Craig Newby , 8 Thomas Waldrom


Replacements , 16 Tom Youngs , 17 Logovi’i Mulipola , 18 Dan Cole , 19 Steve Mafi , 20 Julian Salvi , 21 Sam Harrison , 22 Matt Smith , 23 George Ford


Warriors


15 Chris Pennell , 14 Marcel Garvey , 13 Alex Grove , 12 Dale Rasmussen , 11 Miles Benjamin , 10 Andy Goode , 9 Shaun Perry (c), 8 Blair Cowan, 7 Matt Kvesic , 6 Sam Betty , 5 Chris Jones , 4 James Percival , 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui ,1 Matt Mullan


Replacements , 16 Ed Shervington , 17 Ceri Jones , 18 Bruce Douglas , 19 Craig Gillies , 20 Kai Horstmann , 21 Jonny Arr , 22 Danny Gray , 23 Ravai Fatiaki

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