Planet Rugby

Preview: Worcester v Leicester

14th November 2013 11:40

Share:

James Percival Worcester Aviva Premiership

Returning: James Percival

James Percival will play his first match for over half a year when Worcester host Leicester Tigers in the LV= Cup on Friday.

The giant lock has been ruled out since the start of the season after undergoing a bicep operation but will return for his first taste of action under Director of Rugby Dean Ryan.

Andy Symons, who signed for the club last week, will make his full Warriors debut after coming off the bench during last Friday's victory over Cardiff Blues.

Mariano Galarza comes back into the side after being released by Argentina, while Leonardo Senatore moves in the other direction.

Ravai Fatiaki returns following a spell on the treatment table, while Paul Warwick and Jonny Arr are named as the half-back combination.

Chris Brooker will start at hooker as Warriors search for a second consecutive win against their Premiership opponents.

"We're not losing sight of the role the LV= Cup plays for us and everybody else and we've got another opportunity to go again this week," said Worcester boss Dean Ryan.

"I think it will be a big step up from last weekend. I'm sure Leicester will have a mix of youngsters and experience.

"Richard Cockerill has done a good job in the LV= Cup. He has always allowed his youngsters to play and stayed with them when they've been successful.

"It will be a good test for us to see the youngsters again in a different light against a tougher opposition."

Meanwhile, Matt Smith returns to make his first starting appearance of the season for Leicester Tigers at Sixways.

Cockerill gives a place at centre to Smith who broke a thumb in pre-season and made only a short appearance as a replacement in the league fixture against Harlequins a fortnight ago.

Sam Harrison is ruled out after taking a knock in the win over the Ospreys last Friday and his place at scrum-half is taken by David Mélé, while Jordan Crane returns at number eight.

Miles Benjamin faces his former club, and Henry Purdy, an England Under-20s international, comes in on the other wing with Blaine Scully on international duty with the USA.

French prop Jérôme Schuster is brought into the matchday squad for the first time since a switch from Perpignan.

Tigers got their LV= Cup campaign off to a good start at Welford Road last Friday with a bonus-point victory over the Ospreys with a squad featuring four debutants and three other players involved in a senior matchday at Welford Road for the first time.

"It was good to see the young lads step up and play well in a competitive first-team game. Some of those young guys are in the team this week and will have to step up again. There's a bit of experience with Boris, Jordan and Scotty Hamilton in there to hold it together," said Cockerill.

"Worcester will be a new challenge for this team. They won last week and will be looking to gain some momentum so it is down to our guys to back up last week's performance in a game away from home."

Five Leicester players are with England this weekend, and Marcos Ayerza and Pablo Matera are with Argentina.

Tigers are without Anthony Allen, Gonzalo Camacho, Tom Croft, Vereniki Goneva, Rob Hawkins, Terrence Hepetema, Ryan Lamb, Logovi'i Mulipola, Scott Steele, Mathew Tait and Manu Tuilagi due to injury.

The teams:

Worcester: 15 Ben Howard, 14 James Stephenson, 13 Max Stelling, 12 Andy Symons, 11 Ravai Fatiaki, 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Jonathan Thomas (c), 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 James Percival, 3 Rob O'Donnell, 2 Chris Brooker, 1 Ofa Fainga'anuku.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Jeremy Becasseau, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Christian Scotland-Williamson, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 George de Cothi, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Dean Hammond

Leicester Tigers: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Henry Purdy, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Javiah Pohe, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Owen Williams, 9 David Mélé, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Michael Noone, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Joe Cain, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Boris Stankovich (c).
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Jérôme Schuster, 19 Tom Price, 20 Harry Wells, 21 George Tresidder, 22 Pasqualle Dunn, 23 Perry Humphreys.

Date: Friday, November 15
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Venue: Sixways Stadium
Referee: Gwyn Morris (Wales)
Assistant referees: Paul Burton (England), Gareth Copsey (England)
Timekeeper: Eric Bullion (England)
Assessor: Paul Bridgman (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
Friday , November 7
Scarlets vs Northampton19:30
Ospreys vs Saracens19:35
Harlequins vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:45
Newcastle vs Cardiff Blues20:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615