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Preview: Leicester v Ospreys

19th October 2012 08:55

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Tigers fly half Toby Flood v Ospreys

Must win for Tigers: Ospreys visit Welford Road

Leicester and Ospreys have named unchanged starting XVs for their Heineken Cup clash at Welford Road.

After starting the season with just one defeat in the opening six rounds of Aviva Premiership action, Tigers go into Sunday's game looking for their first points in Pool 2 after an opening-round defeat in Toulouse. The Ospreys kicked off their European campaign with a 38-17 bonus-point victory at home to Treviso.

The only change to the Tigers squad is on the bench where long-serving lock Louis Deacon has recovered from hamstring and shoulder injuries to join the squad and takes over from Ed Slater.

For Ospreys, loose forward Joe Bearman has recovered from injury to provide cover amongst the replacements.

"We had a decent start to the Heineken Cup with a win against Treviso last week. We won't be getting carried away with ourselves as we realise that while there was plenty to be pleased with about the performance there was a lot that wasn't,' said Ospreys Head Coach Steve Tandy.

"We will need to lift our game considerably this weekend if we want to achieve anything up at Leicester, and we can't afford to slip off our game for large periods like we did last weekend or we will pay the price. Leicester won't give us any second chance.

"Going to somewhere like Welford Road is a huge challenge but it's the kind of fixture that will get anyone excited, be they a coach, player or supporter. It's a fantastic venue and we're up against one of the giants of European rugby at a packed house, you've got to be looking forward to it. It's a fixture that has grown into our short history to become something of a rivalry, along with games against the likes of Munster and Leinster, and it's going to be intense, tight, and no doubt there'll be very little between two physical teams.

"We'll go to Leicester with confidence and belief, and with nothing but respect for the opposition. All week the preparation has been about controlling what we do, making sure everybody knows their roles, the calls and moves, and that we are accurate in everything we do, paying attention to detail. If we get that right, anything can happen."

Heineken Cup betting odds

The teams:

Leicester Tigers: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Thomas Waldrom, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Graham Kitchener, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Louis Deacon, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 George Stowers, 20 Joe Bearman, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Tom Isaacs.

Date: Sunday, October 21
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite

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Pool 5
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PosTeamPPts
1Northampton25
2Ospreys25
3Racing Metro Paris14
4Treviso10