Preview: Leicester v Leeds Carnegie

Date published: September 24 2010

England internationals Dan Hipkiss and Dan Cole return to the Leicester Tigers team for Saturday's game against Leeds Carnegie.

England internationals Dan Hipkiss and Dan Cole return to the Leicester Tigers team for Saturday's home game against Leeds Carnegie.

Hipkiss missed the trip to London Wasps last Saturday after picking up an ankle injury in the win over Exeter Chiefs in the opening home game of the season, while Cole comes into the front row.

“It's great to have Dan Hipkiss back fully fit, especially with some other injuries in the backline,” said Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill.

“In the forwards we have a number of quality options to choose from and Dan Cole gets his starting place this week.

“Our attack has been pretty good in the opening three games, we just have to make sure our defence is better. We have to be more accurate in what we're doing.”

The Tigers replacements bench includes recent signings Rob Hawkins, Steve Mafi and Horacio Agulla.

Meanwhile, Leeds Carnegie coaches Andy Key and Neil Back have made three changes to their side for Saturday's trip to Leicester.

Full-back Leigh Hinton, who was a replacement against Saracens last Sunday at Headingley Carnegie, will start with Michael Stephenson reverting to the wing in place of Semi Tadulala.

Ceiron Thomas returns at fly-half after recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in the opening game of the season to replace the injured Christian Lewis-Pratt whilst the final change comes in the pack with Rhys Oakley replacing Kearnan Myall at blindside flanker.

Marco Wentzel will once again lead Leeds Carnegie against his former club on a ground that Leeds have never won on. On the bench, Leeds Carnegie are boosted by the return of number eight Danny Paul from a pre-season injury.

Form: Leicester Tigers are Aviva Premiership Rugby's top try-scorers with 11, but have a won one, lost two record! In addition the Tigers (along with Leeds) have the leakiest defence so far having conceded nine tries – already half the tally Leicester conceded during the whole of the 2009/10 regular season. Leeds Carnegie are making their customary slow start and in fact have not won any Premiership game played in September since beating Saracens in 2004! Leeds' only away win since February was 23-13 at London Irish on 18 April. Leicester have won their last six Premiership encounters with Leeds since the Yorkshiremen's last victory: 23-22 at Headingley Carnegie in March 2005. Leeds have lost on all eight previous visits to Welford Road in all competitions.

The teams:

Leicester:15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Jeremy Staunton, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Ben Woods, 6 Tom Croft, 5 George Skivington, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Craig Newby, 21 James Grindal, 22 Horacio Agulla, 23 Manu Tuilagi.

Leeds: 15 Leigh Hinton, 14 Lee Blackett, 13 James Tincknell, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Mike Stephenson, 10 Ceiron Thomas, 9 Scott Mathie, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Rhys Oakley, 5 Marco Wentzel (c), 4 Tom Denton, 3 Juan Gomez, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Mike MacDonald.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterell, 17 Gareth Hardy, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Danny Paul, 20 Sean Hohneck, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Semi Tadulala, 23 Henry Faafili

Date: Saturday, 25 September
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 15:00