Planet Rugby

Preview: Leicester v Saracens

04th March 2011 08:43


George Skivington Jon Clarke

Skivington: Back at five

Leicester have been boosted by the return to action of lock George Skivington ahead of their crunch clash with Saracens.

Despite training with the England squad throughout the Six Nations, Skivington was able to play off the bench last time out against Sale, but has now been promoted to the starting line-up.

The switch allows Tom Croft to return to his favoured number six jersey to form a formidable back row alongside Craig Newby and Thomas Waldrom.

Italian prop Martin Castrogiovanni returns to club duty but has to be content with a place on the bench.

The Tigers have been without a number of key players of late through international call-ups and injury, but have still managed to win nine Aviva Premiership games on the trot, a streak Head Coach Richard Cockerill is determined to continue.

"We've won three from three in the Six Nations period, we're going well, but we know it only takes a couple of dropped points and a couple of wins for others to change things in the table," said Cockerill.

"There is a lot of coming and going with players at this stage of the season, but we're used to that here.

"Saracens are a good side and I'm sure it will be a tough contest between two good teams," he added.

Saracens have made just one change to the team that beat Wasps, with Mouritz Botha replacing Jared Saunders at lock.

Should Hugh Vyvyan come off the bench he will become the most-capped player in Premiership history with 233 caps.

The teams:

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

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Rodd Penney, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Justin Melck, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Jared Saunders, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Hugh Vyvyan, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Adam Powell, 23 James Short.

Date: Saturday, March 5
Kick-off: 15:15
Venue: Welford Road
Referee: Sean Davey
Assistant referees: Paul Dix, Kevin Stewart

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