Preview: Worcester v Leicester

Date published: December 26 2011

Worcester have made five changes to the side for Tuesday's Aviva Premiership clash with Leicester at Sixways.

Worcester have made five changes to the side for Tuesday's Aviva Premiership clash with Leicester at Sixways.

After back-to-back wins over Bucharest in the Amlin Challenge Cup, coach Richard Hill recalls Dale Rasmussen to midfield in place of Andy Short, the only change to the back-line.

Matt Mullan returns from injury to take his place in the front row in place of Bruce Douglas, Craig Gillies is back in the second row with Ben Gulliver dropping out, whilst Sam Betty and Chris Jones are recalled to the back-row.

Fit-again Matt Kvesic and former Leicester star Andy Goode are named among the replacements along with Fijian star Ravai Fatiaki.

Meanwhile, Scott Hamilton and Billy Twelvetrees return to the Leicester back-line as coach Richard Cockerill freshens his Tigers up after their tough win over Clermont.

Hamilton replaces Geordan Murphy at full-back, and Twelvetrees' return at 12 sees Manu Tuilagi revert to outside centre, with Matt Smith moving to the left wing in place of Alesana Tuilagi.

Up front Dan Cole starts in place of Martin Castrogiovanni, Ed Slater comes in to the second row ahead of George Skivington and Ben Woods takes Julian Salvi's openside spot.

Form: Worcester Warriors' only defeat in their last five matches in all competitions was 9-15 at Exeter in Aviva Premiership Rugby on December 3. The Warriors, however, have gained just one win from their last five Premiership encounters: 16-7 at home to Bath in round nine. Leicester Tigers have suffered a single reversal in their last nine fixtures: 12-30 at Clermont Auvergne on December 11. Tigers have won three of their last four away games in the Premiership. Worcester's solo triumph over Leicester since 2005 was 23-19 at Sixways in the Premiership on 8 March 2008.

The teams:
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell (c), 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Chris Jones, 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 James Percival, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Bruce Douglas, 17 Aleki Lutui, 18 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19 Ben Gulliver, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Andy Goode, 23 Ravai Fatiaki.

Leicester: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Matt Smith, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Ben Woods, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Ed Slater, 4 Louis Deacon (c), 3 Dan Cole, 2 George Chuter, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Martin Castrogiovanni, 18 Julian White, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Julian Salvi, 21 Micky Young, 22 Jeremy Staunton, 23 Niall Morris.