Preview: Leicester Tigers v Harlequins

Date published: October 23 2015

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World Cup trio Tom Youngs, Dan Cole and Vereniki Goneva return to the Leicester Tigers squad for Sunday's match against Harlequins.

Goneva comes in on the wing in the only change to the backline that started the win at London Irish in Round 1 last weekend, while Youngs comes in at hooker. Cole is among the replacements.

Sebastian de Chaves returns to the forward pack, with Mike Williams moving into the back row after starting at lock against Irish.

Four new signings make their home debuts – Peter Betham, Mike Fitzgerald, Mike Williams and Lachlan McCaffrey – with Opeti Fonua anf scrum-half Ben White also hoping to make their first competitive appearance at Welford Road from the bench.

Owen Williams, who made his return from an eight-month injury absence last weekend, is named among the replacements.

Meanwhile Harlequins has made just one change to the starting team that beat Wasps last week at The Stoop as Mike Brown starts at full-back. 

Among the replacements club captain Danny Care is named after recovering from a back spasm suffered during England’s Rugby World Cup 2015 match with Uruguay.

Chris Robshaw re-joined the squad this week alongside new signing Tim Visser; both will be considered for selection next week for the trip to Bath.

Form: Leicester Tigers only defeat in their last five Aviva Premiership rugby matches was at Bath in last season's semi-final.  The Tigers have lost just one of their last 18 home games at Welford Road in the tournament: 19-22 to London Irish in September 2014. Harlequins beat Wasps 26-21 on Friday evening and have not begun a season with a pair of victories in Rounds 1 and 2 since 2012/13. Harlequins have won just one of their last five away trips in Aviva Premiership Rugby: 25-23 at Sale in April. The Tigers have won only two of their last nine matches against Harlequins in all tournaments – both in Premiership Rugby at Welford Road; the semi-final in 2013 and the round 6 game last season.

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait(c), 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Tom Croft, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola   
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Riccardo Brugnara, 18mDan Cole, 19 Laurence Pearce, 20 Opeti Fonua, 21 Ben White, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Matt Smith

Harlequins: Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 George Lowe, 12 Harry Sloan, 11 Charlie Walker, 10 Nick Evans (C), 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Jack Clifford (c), 5 Sam Twomey, 4 James Horwill, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Mark Lambert
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Nick Easter, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague

Date: Sunday, October 25
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick, Paul Dix
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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