Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v Leicester

15th February 2013 11:45

Share:

london irish v harlequins danny care try

Danny Care: Returns to action

Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea has tweaked his starting XV for Saturday's Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers at the Stoop.

Due to injury and international unavailability, there are two changes to the back-line that lost to Wasps last week.

Matt Hopper moves to outside centre and partners Jordan Turner-Hall who comes into the run-on side for George Lowe. Danny Care returns from international duty with England to start at scrum-half.

Among the forwards, captain Nick Easter starts in the second row, with Charlie Matthews ready to impact from the bench.

In the back row Maurie Fa'asavalu starts at blindside flanker and is joined by Tom Guest and Luke Wallace.

Among the replacements, with Karl Dickson unfit for this weekend, Jordan Burns will look to make his first appearance for the club at scrum-half, while the fit again Ben Botica returns to the bench.

Meanwhile, Toby Flood, Manu Tuilagi and Thomas Waldrom return to the Leicester Tigers line-up this top-of-the-table clash.

The international trio have been released from the England squad for this weekend and are recalled by Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

There is also a recall in the back-line for Scott Hamilton, and Brett Deacon is named in the back row alongside Waldrom and Julian Salvi.

"We've had some tough battles with Harlequins in the last couple of seasons," said Cockerill.

"Results last week meant we went to the top of the table, but it means nothing at this stage.

"We still haven't played as well as we can and we're now into a key part of the season."

Martin Castrogiovanni, Niall Morris and Steve Mafi are among the players unavailable due to injury this week.

Tom Croft is rested and four players remain with the England squad - Tom Youngs, Ben Youngs, Geoff Parling and Dan Cole.

Form: The top two sides in Aviva Premiership Rugby clash at the Twickenham Stoop. Harlequins were defeated by the narrowest of margins at home to London Wasps on Saturday evening, but have not lost back to back home games since early 2010. Leicester Tigers took top spot in the Premiership table for the first time since the end of the 2010/11 season with their 28-12 victory at home to London Welsh on Saturday. The Tigers have won their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby contests since Wasps defeated them 14-12 at Adams Park on 25 November. It took until 2011 for Harlequins to record a second Premiership win over the Tigers since the tournament began in 1997. Since then Quins have taken three of the last four meetings. Remarkably, Leicester have won on their last eight visits to the Stoop since the Londoners last triumph there, 26-23, in the semi-final 1st leg of the Wildcard in May 2003.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Guest. 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Easter (c), 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Will Collier, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Jordan Burns, 22 Ben Botica, 23 George Lowe.

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Brett Deacon, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Louis Deacon (c), 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Micky Young, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.

Date: Saturday, February 16
Kick-off: 17:15
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Peter Huckle Ashley Rowden
Television match official: David Grashoff
Timekeeper: Roy Marfleet

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Preview
Wellington vs TasmanWellington vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
Friday , September 26
Taranaki vs Auckland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 29 - 15 Pumas
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Exeter310
4Leicester Tigers39
5Harlequins38