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Preview: Leicester v Gloucester

02nd March 2012 12:47

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SKY_MOBILE Toby Flood

Tigers return: Toby Flood

Ben Youngs and Toby Flood return to the Leicester line-up for Sunday's Aviva Premiership fixture against Gloucester at Welford Road.

The England duo have been released from international duty and will start for Tigers in the Round Seventeen encounter.

Samoan wing Alesana Tuilagi, joint top try-scorer this season and the top scorer in the Premiership last season, returns after a two-week absence.

The only other change to the team which recorded a bonus-point victory over Newcastle last weekend is in the second row where Graham Kitchener starts.

Meanwhile, centre Tim Molenaar will make his first Aviva Premiership start of the season and Brett Deacon starts against his former club as Gloucester travel to the Tigers.

Molenaar tore a pectoral muscle in pre-season and has had to patiently work his way back to full fitness, appearing in a number of Aviva Premiership A League and LV= Cup games.

He comes in to partner Mike Tindall in the Gloucester midfield with Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu (knee) and Henry Trinder (jaw) both sidelined.

Other changes to the starting line up that defeated Harlequins at Kingsholm last weekend see Tom Voyce and Dave Lewis replace James Simpson-Daniel and Rory Lawson respectively.

Meanwhile, in the pack, the front five are retained but there is a slight rejig in the back row with Deacon starting at number eight and Matt Cox shifting across to the openside in place of Akapusi Qera who is named amongst the replacements.

Form: Leicester Tigers have lost only one Aviva Premiership Rugby game since the Rugby World Cup: 11-19 at Exeter on 7 January. Tigers' are unbeaten at Welford Road in their last ten matches in all competitions. Gloucester Rugby have won five of their last six games and were victorious in their most recent away match: 14-11 at Bath on 18 February. Tigers have lost just one of their last five fixtures with Gloucester whilst the south westerners have not won at Welford Road since October 2007.

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (capt), 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 George Skivington, 3 Logoviii Mulipola, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Julian White, 19 Ben Pienaar, 20 Craig Newby, 21 James Grindal, 22 George Ford, 23 Scott Hamilton.

Gloucester: 15 Jonny May, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall (capt), 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Brett Deacon, 7 Matt Cox, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Will James, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Akapusi Qera, 21 Nick Runciman, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Ollie Phillips.

Date: Sunday, March 4
Kick-off: 13:00
Venue: Welford Road
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden, Nigel Carrick

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PosTeamPPts
6Gloucester615
7Harlequins614
8Leicester Tigers614
9London Irish612
10Sale Sharks611