Planet Rugby

Preview: Leeds v Harlequins

22nd April 2011 12:29

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Nick Evans Michael Stephenson Harlequins leeds

Final straight: Can Leeds hang on?

Leeds coach Neil Back has made five changes to the side that lost to London Wasps last week for Sunday's massive clash with Harlequins at Headingley Carnegie.

Two of the changes come in the back line with Christian Lewis-Pratt moving from the bench to start at full back with Michael Stephenson moving from 15 to the wing in place of Peter Wackett, who starts on the bench.

The other change sees Australian international Lachlan MacKay replace the injured Luther Burrell at inside centre.

The other three changes come in the pack where Phil Swainston comes in for Juan Gomez - who picked up an injury against Wasps. Kearnan Myall reverts from the back row to the second row to replace Sean Hohneck and Rhys Oakley comes off the bench and into the back row. The final change sees the return to action of Alfie To'oala.

On the bench, USA international prop Mike MacDonald has recovered from injury to return as has centre Scott Barrow, who replaces Semi Tadulala on the bench.

Captain Marco Wentzel will not feature this week as he recovers from the calf injury that has kept him out of the last two games.

Meanwhile, there are only two changes to the Harlequins side, both in the front row.

Joe Marler returns from suspension with Ceri Jones moving to the bench. James Johnston comes in at tighthead and replaces John Andress.

Chris Robshaw leads the side as the London side play their final game before next weekend's Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final against Munster.

Form: Harlequins have won their last five encounters with Leeds since the Yorkshiremen's 21-10 victory at Headingley on 26 April 2005. Leeds Carnegie's 18-51 defeat at Wasps on Sunday meant they were unable to move off the bottom of the table, and remain in 12th place on an inferior points difference to Newcastle. Leeds have won two of their last three games at Headingley Carnegie. Harlequins defeat at Bath on Saturday now means that they cannot claim an Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final spot. Quins' only win in their last five Premiership matches was 53-15 over Gloucester at the Twickenham Stoop on 26 March.

The teams:

Leeds: 15 Christian Lewis-Pratt, 14 Lee Blackett, 13 Henry Fa'afili, 12 Lachlan MacKay, 11 Michael Stephenson, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Scott Mathie, 8 Alfie To'oala, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Rhys Oakley, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Daniel Browne, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Steve Thompson (c), 1 Gareth Hardy.
Replacements: 16 Phil Nilsen, 17 Mike MacDonald, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Danny Paul, 20 Sean Hohneck, 21 Dan White, 22 Peter Wackett, 23 Scott Barrow.

Harlequins:15 Mike Brown, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Ollie Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Matt Cairns, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 Mark Lambert, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Will Skinner, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Ross Chisholm.

Date: Sunday, April 24
Venue: Headingley Carnegie
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Referee: Martin Fox

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