Mafi to return for Leicester

Date published: January 9 2014

Leicester Tigers forward Steve Mafi is back in training after three months leave and should feature this weekend against Treviso.

Leicester Tigers forward Steve Mafi is back in training after three months leave and should feature this weekend against Treviso.

The Tongan second row has been on compassionate leave in Australia for three months after the complicated birth of his child.

Mafi returned to England last weekend and the 24-year-old is likely to be involved against the Italian side with Geoff Parling, Ed Slater and Graham Kitchener out injured.

“Steve is back in the country and trained on Tuesday and Wednesday, which is helpful,” Leicester boss Richard Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury.

“He has been training well and is okay. He left at 122kg and he came back at 122kg, which is good.

“He has had some issues to deal with but he is fresh and keen to get back into the fray.

“Sebastian De Chaves has played well in the second row at important times this season and Mafi has also played at lock for us in the past, so it gives us an option.”

Cockerill also hopes that influential centre Anthony Allen could make a return against Treviso after three months out with a leg injury.

“We hope Ant will be back,” added Cockerill.

“He was down to be in the 22 last week but he didn't quite feel confident enough strength-wise, so I pulled him from the squad.

“He has trained so far this week and he will train again.

“The importance of your midfield and how it is organised is key, especially as we are conceding too many soft tries.”

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