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Preview: Leicester v Gloucester

28th December 2012 11:31

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Geoff Parling Leicester Tigers AVP 2012

Geoff Parling: Back for Tigers

Geoff Parling returns to the Leicester Tigers line-up for Saturday's Aviva Premiership Round 12 match against Gloucester at Welford Road.

Second-rower Parling was rested for last Saturday's bonus-point win against London Irish but returns as the only change in the starting XV for the clash between the teams placed third and fourth in the Aviva Premiership table at the halfway stage of the league season.

Steve Mafi is named among the replacements on his return to the squad for the first time since suffering a knee injury in the win over Northampton Saints in November.

Tigers fly-half Flood makes his 100th Premiership appearance in Saturday's match.

Meanwhile, Gloucester boss Nigel Davies has made minimal changes to the side that defeated Exeter last weekend.

There are just three changes to the starting line-up, two in the pack and one in the backs.

Up front, Huia Edmonds and Darren Dawidiuk swap places at hooker with the Australian international starting this weekend. Meanwhile, Will James comes in for Tom Savage at lock.

The only change to the back line sees Martyn Thomas replace Rob Cook, who has been suffering from a bug over Christmas.

Form: It's third against fourth this weekend, with the Tigers just ahead of Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership table. The top half of the table is incredibly tight, so there's plenty to play for. Gloucester beat the Tigers 27-21 in the first meeting between the two sides this season.

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Brett Deacon, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon (c), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford23 Matt Smith

Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Shane Monahan, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Akapusi Qera,6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Jim Hamilton (c),4 Will James,3 Shaun Knight, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Tim Molenaar, 23 Dave Lewis.

Date: Saturday, December 29
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Kevin Stewart, Paul Burton
Television match official: Dave Grashoff

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1Saracens1976
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5Harlequins1954