Planet Rugby

Preview: Leicester v Harlequins

18th November 2010 12:07


Nick Evans Harlequins

Back in the slot: Nick Evans

A fortnight after Quins' LV= Cup win over the Tigers, the London side are back at Welford Road and hoping for similar fortunes in the Premiership.

Nick Evans returns in place of Rory Clegg, and restores his 9-10 partnership with Karl Dickson. Jordan Turner-Hall and Ollie Smith are at centre.

Tom Williams and George Lowe on the wings. Mike Brown, after missing out on the Newcastle game, is back at full-back.

Ceri Jones, Joe Gray and James Johnston make up the front-row and Tomas Vallejos and George Robson combine once more in the second-row.

Captain Chris Robshaw, Will Skinner and Tom Guest make up a strong back-row. Gonzalo Camacho remains with Argentina.

Meanwhile, lock Geoff Parling is included in Leicester's matchday 22 for the first time this season.

Parling ended last season with a Premiership winner's medal in his first term with the club, but he suffered a neck injury on tour with England in June. He is named among the Tigers' replacements.

Geordan Murphy, Anthony Allen and George Chuter have returned from international training this week to take a place in the starting line-up and Manu Tuilagi makes his first start in the Aviva Premiership, taking the place of brother Alesana, who is away with Samoa.

Props Fraser Balmain and Ryan Bower are among the replacements after playing in the LV=Cup match against the Ospreys last Friday, but England international centre Dan Hipkiss is ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Form: Harlequins have already won at Welford Road this season with a 34-25 scoreline there in the Anglo-Welsh Cup two weeks ago, but the Londoners have never won at the venue in the Premiership. Leicester Tigers have lost their last four games in all competitions - their worst run since 2003/04, but in the Premiership have lost just one of their last 25 home games. Harlequins' only loss in their last five was 26-33 at Gloucester in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 23 October. Quins have not won away from home in the Premiership since a trip to Leeds on 4 December 2009.

The teams:

Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Manu Tuilagi, 10 Billy Twelvetrees, 9 James Grindal, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Craig Newby, 6 Thomas Waldrom, 5 George Skivington, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Julian White, 2 George Chuter, 1 Peter Bucknall.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Fraser Balmain, 18 Ryan Bower, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Geoff Parling, 21 Jason Spice, 22 George Ford, 23 Lee Robinson.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 George Lowe, 13 Ollie Smith, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Tom Williams, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Will Skinner, 6 Chris Robshaw (capt), 5 George Robson, 4 Tomas Vallejos, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 John Andress, 19 Ollie Kohn, 20 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Ross Chisholm.

Date: Friday, November 19
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Venue: Welford Road
Referee: Wayne Barnes

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