Preview: Aironi v Leicester

Date published: November 11 2011

Leicester have named Dan Cole ahead of Martin Castrogiovanni for their Heineken Cup season opener at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella.

Leicester have named Dan Cole ahead of Martin Castrogiovanni for their Heineken Cup season opener at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella on Saturday.

Two-time European champions the Tigers will make their 105th appearance in Europe's premier club knockout competition this coming weekend.

Geordan Murphy will lead out a team showing three changes from the line-up which started against London Irish in the Aviva Premiership.

Cole returns to the pack, with Italy international Castrogiovanni set to make his 50th Heineken Cup appearance from among the replacements.

In the backline, this season's top try-scorer Niall Morris replaces Scott Hamilton, and Andy Forsyth comes into the centre in place of Horacio Agulla.

Puma Agulla suffered a hand injury in the match against Irish and joins Mathew Tait, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Allen and Billy Twelvetrees as a casualty.

Micky Young and Steve Mafi return to the matchday squad after coming through last Monday's Development XV match in the Aviva Premiership Rugby 'A' League.

Meanwhile, Andrea Masi lines up alongside Matteo Pratichetti for Aironi while former Hurricanes scrum-half Tyson Keats is named at scrum-half, inside Luciano Orquera.

The teams:

Aironi: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Frans Viljoen, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Nicola Cattina, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Lorenzo Romano, 19 Josh Sole, 20 Filippo Ferrarini, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Naas Olivier, 23 Gilberto Pavan.

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Andy Forsyth, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Jules Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 George Skivington, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 Micky Young, 22 Jeremy Staunton, 23 Scott Hamilton.

Date: Saturday, November 12
Kick-off: 14:30 (13:30 GMT)
Venue: Stadio Luigi Zaffanella
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)