Preview: Leicester v Exeter

Date published: March 27 2015

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Leicester Tigers welcome back five senior players from international duty for Saturday's home game against Exeter Chiefs.

Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Ben Youngs and Tom Youngs return after playing in England's 55-35 victory over France at Twickenham last Saturday, and hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini returns after captaining Italy in his 75th Test cap last weekend.
 
Saturday's fixture will be the 50th meeting between the two clubs, with Tigers recording 33 wins to the visitors' 12 so far and four draws.
 
On a day of milestones, flanker Julian Salvi makes his 100th starting appearance for Tigers, while Geoff Parling plays his 150th Premiership game and Freddie Burns reaches 100 in the top flight.

Meanwhile, Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has recalled a large nucleus of those players who have sat out the recent LV block of games. Indeed, just two starters – Carl Rimmer and Mitch Lees – were involved in last Sunday’s final.

The inclusion of Lees means he packs down in the second-row alongside Damian Welch and skipper Dean Mumm reverts to the back-row alongside Dave Ewers and former Tiger, Thomas Waldrom, who will be making his first return to his old stomping ground.

The back division remains unchanged from previous premiership outings and will be spearheaded by fly-half Henry Slade, who was named the Premiership Player of the Month recently.

Form: The Chiefs currently sit second in the league table after four successive wins. The Tigers will be desperate to reverse that recent defeat at the hands of Rob Baxter's men and have lost only one Aviva Premiership Rugby match at Welford Road this season.

The teams:

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs (c), 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Sebastian de Chaves, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Vereniki Goneva

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Jack Nowell, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Dean Mumm (c), 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Carl Rimmer
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Ben White, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Tom James

 

Date: Saturday, March 28
Venue: Welford Road, Leicester
Kickoff: 15:00
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey, Andy Watson
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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