Planet Rugby

Preview: Leicester Tigers v Aironi

20th January 2012 11:44

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SKY_MOBILE aironi v leicester

Leicester v Aironi: Playing for lost pride

Leicester will be keen to get back onto the victory trail when they host Pool Four strugglers Aironi in their Heineken Cup clash at Welford Road.

The two-time former champions, who suffered their heaviest ever defeat in the competition when they they lost 41-7 to Ulster last week, can still make the play-off stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup if other results go their way this weekend.

Scrum-half Micky Young makes his first starting appearance for the Tigers.

Young, a member of the England Elite Saxons squad this season, gains a starting role alongside Jeremy Staunton at half-back after six previous appearances as a replacement since his arrival at the start of the campaign.

Billy Twelvetrees joins Anthony Allen in midfield for the final game in Pool Four, while captain Geordan Murphy extends his club record of European appearances with his 73rd game in Heineken Cup action.

Leicester's director of rugby Richard Cockerill makes changes in the forward pack, with George Chuter, Ed Slater, George Skivington and Ben Woods returning to the team.

England international Dan Cole and fly-half George Ford are named among the replacements, with Academy product Jimmy Stevens selected as the back-up hooker.

Aironi have been the whipping boys in the pool and are yet to register a win or any points for the season.

They suffered a humiliating 82-0 defeat to Clermont-Auvergne last week.

Coach Rowland Philips has made seven changes to his starting XV with Alberto Benettin (full-back), Gabriel Pizarro (inside centre) and Giovanbattista Venditti (left wing) replacing Andrea Masi, Alberto Benettin and Sinoti Sinoti respectively in the back-line.

Amongst the forwards, there are four changes. Flanker Simone Favaro comes in for Nicola Cattina while there's a new front row with hooker Roberto Santamaria and props Fabio Staibano and Alberto de Marchi taking over from , Tommaso D'Apice, Lorenzo Romano and Salvatore Perugini.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Jeremy Staunton, 9 Micky Young, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Ben Woods, 6 Tom Croft, 5 George Skivington, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Scott Hamilton.

Aironi: 15 Alberto Benettin, 14 Giiulio Toniolatti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Gabriel Pizarro, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Josh Sole, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Roberto Santamaria, 1 Alberto de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice , 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Lorenzo Romano, 19 Carlo del Fava, 20 Filippo Ferrarini, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Gilberto Pavan, 23 Matteo Pratichetti.

Date: Saturday, January 21
Venue: Welford Road, Leicester
Kick-off: 15.40 GMT
Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)

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