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Preview: Leicester v Gloucester

14th February 2014 07:56

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Graham Kitchener in action for Leicester Tigers

Starts: Graham Kitchener

Adam Thompstone and Graham Kitchener return to the Leicester team for Sunday's Aviva Premiership fixture against Gloucester at Welford Road.

There will be plenty of odds on offer for the game but before you place your bets, do your homework with a few sportsbook reviews.

Winger Thompstone, the club's top try-scorer in 2012/13, returns after recovering from a knock picked up in his England Saxons debut a fortnight ago, while Kitchener joins Ed Slater in the locks.

Number eight Jordan Crane returns after injury for his first game since the Heineken Cup tie against Ulster.

Slater, Tom Youngs and Ben Youngs are included in the starting line-up after being released from the England squad this week.

Meanwhile, Mike Tindall returns to the Gloucester starting line-up and will also skipper the side.

Tindall is one of five new faces in the side from the team that faced Sale Sharks last weekend.

In the pack, Will James comes in to partner Elliott Stooke in the second-row, while Director of Rugby Nigel Davies welcomes back England back-row forwards Matt Kvesic and Ben Morgan.

In the backline Dan Robson gets the nod at scrum-half, partnering Ryan Mills at half-back, with Tindall joining Henry Trinder in the Gloucester midfield.

Form: Leicester Tigers only defeat in their last six Aviva Premiership matches came at Saracens on 21st December. The Tigers have lost just once at Welford Road in the Premiership since 23 February 2013: 16-23 to Harlequins in November - a sequence that also includes two draws, against Northampton and Bath. Gloucester have secured only two victories in the Premiership over the last nine rounds, against Worcester and London Irish in December, whilst the only try bonus point they have tallied this season curiously came in their 30-32 defeat at home to Wasps on 2nd November. Gloucester's only victory in their last seven fixtures with the Tigers in all tournaments was 27-21 at Kingsholm in the Premiership in October 2012. The Cherry and Whites have not been victorious at Welford Road since their visit in the Premiership on 6th October 2007.

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Louis Deacon, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 David Mele, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Blaine Scully.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mike Tindall (capt), 11 Martyn Thomas, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Will James, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 James Hudson, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Shane Monahan.

Date: Sunday, February 16
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Venue: Welford Road
Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce , Peter Huckle
Television match official: David Grashoff

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