Dom Barrow and Jono Kitto are back in the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for Saturday’s home game against Worcester Warriors.
Barrow partners Graham Kitchener at lock after returning from injury as part of the squad at Sale Sharks last weekend. England international prop Ellis Genge starts a game at Welford Road for the first time as he joins Tom Youngs and Greg Bateman in the front row.
Kitto lines up at scrum-half in his first start of the season, with the rest of the backline unchanged from the trip to Sale in Round 5. Harry Thacker is included in the matchday squad for the first time this season after leading the Tigers Development XV to a third successive win against Sale Jets this week.
Head Coach Carl Hogg has made three changes to the Warriors starting line-up. Dean Hammond returns to the side on the wing, while fly-half Ryan Lamb and hooker Jaba Bregvadze are handed starting spots.
Meanwhile, Ben Te’o returns to the squad among the replacements and there is also a place for hooker Matti Williams on the bench, who could be set for his Warriors debut.
Hogg said: “Off the back of a good result on Sunday we’re looking forward to playing Leicester. Welford Road is a great place to go. It’s a place you want to puff your chest out, and to go and play and express yourself as an individual and as a team.
“It’s a difficult place to go but we go there with great confidence off the back of the weekend and aspects we’ve shown in periods of games in the first few weeks.”
Form: Leicester Tigers’ only defeat at Welford Road in their last eight matches in all competitions was 22-34 to Wasps in Rround Two of the Premiership. The Tigers have already conceded three try bonus points this campaign – as many as they did all last season. Worcester Warriors ended an eight game winless run with their 11-9 victory at home to Newcastle Falcons on Sunday. Warriors have not won on the road in Aviva Premiership Rugby since a visit to Harlequins on 19 March. Leicester have won their last dozen fixtures against Worcester in the Premiership since the Warriors’ 23-19 victory at Sixways in March 2008. Worcester have never won at Welford Road in 13 previous visits since 1895.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Mathew Tait, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Jono Kitto, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Greg Bateman, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Logovi’i Mulipola, 19 Mike Fitzgerald, 20 Will Evans, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Jack Roberts, 23 Matt Smith
Worcester Warriors: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Phil Dowson (C), 7 Carl Kirwan, 6 Alafoti Faosiliva, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Matti Williams, 17 Na’ama Leleimalefaga, 18 James Johnston, 19 Christian Scotland-Williamson, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Ben Te’o
Date: Saturday, October 8
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace, Roger Baileff
TMO: Keith Lewis