Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v Leeds

09th April 2010 12:11

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Nick Easter delighted

Nick Easter: Back in action for Quins

After last Saturday's much-needed win at the Stoop against Newcastle, Quins will be looking to make it back-to-back wins against Leeds.

There are five changes to the line-up which started against Falcons last week and Quins fans will be delighted with one of them being the return of England number eight, Nick Easter.

After being injured in England's final game of this year's Six Nations, Easter returns to his familiar position at the back of the Quins scrum.

Unfortunately, Chris Robshaw paid the price for his strong performance last week by picking up an injury and will watch the match from the sidelines. Tom Guest moves to cover the flank, alongside Captain Will Skinner.

In the front row, Tani Fuga returns to partner Ceri Jones and John Andress.

In the backs, there are two more casualties. Gonzalo Tiesi and Ugo Monye will both join Robshaw on the sidelines but the welcome return of David Strettle to the wing, along with George Lowe in the centres, will keep the backline strong.

Meanwhile, Andy Key and Neil Back have made just one change to their side to travel to Harlequins, with Calum Clark coming into the starting line for the trip to the Stoop.

Clark swaps places with Kearnan Myall, who has started the last four games however he is amongst the replacements this week.

There are two further changes on the bench. Hooker Phil Nilsen comes in for Vili Ma'asi after impressing with the league leading A team in recent weeks.

Andy Gomarsall also returns on the bench to face his former club. Gomarsall made 37 appearances for Harlequins between 2006 and last season before making the move to Yorkshire.

Form: Harlequins' last seven matches in the Guinness Premiership have all been won by the home team on the day. Quins are unbeaten in their last six games at the Twickenham Stoop in the Premiership, since Saracens won there, 22-9, on 19 September. Leeds Carnegie have now slipped to back to back defeats at the hands of Gloucester and Northampton, but have won three of their last five away games in the Guinness Premiership. Harlequins have won their last three encounters with Leeds, whilst the Yorkshiremen's most recent victory at the Stoop was on 29 November 2003.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 David Strettle, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Tom Williams, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Will Skinner (c), 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 James Percival, 3 John Andress, 2 Tani Fuga, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Aston Croall, 18 James Johnston, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Chris York, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Nils Mordt.

Leeds: 15 Leigh Hinton, 14 Henry Fa'afili, 13 Seru Rabeni, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Lee Blackett, 10 Ceiron Thomas, 9 Scott Mathie, 8 Alfie To'oala, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Marco Wentzel (c), 4 Erik Lund, 3 Juan Gomez, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Mike MacDonald.
Replacements: 16 Phil Nilsen, 17 Gareth Hardy, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Rhys Oakley, 21 Andy Gomarsall, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Richard Welding.

Date: Saturday, April 10
Venue: The Stoop
Kick-off: 14.00 BST

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