Planet Rugby

Preview: Leeds v Leicester

23rd November 2007 13:07

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Heineken Cup Leicester Lewis Moody

Moody: Leading from the front

Marcelo Loffreda has named his team for Saturday's encounter with Leeds at Headingley Carnegie, his first Guinness Premiership match as head coach of Leicester Tiger.

With Martin Corry awarded a well-earned rest, the captaincy goes to Lewis Moody.

Moody is joined in the Tigers back row by Tom Croft and Brett Deacon, while Ben Kay combines with James Hamilton in the second row.

Alex Moreno is named at tighthead after injury to Martin Castrogiovanni in the defeat of Edinburgh last weekend, whilst Mefin Davies and Marcos Ayerza complete the forward pack.

Frank Murphy and Andy Goode continue at half-back, with Tom Youngs starting for the first time this season at centre alongside England star Dan Hipkiss. Johne Murphy and Tom Varndell are named on the wings, with Sam Vesty returning to the team at full-back.

England hooker George Chuter is included in the match-day 22 for the first time this season after recovering from knee surgery at the end of the World Cup.

"Lewis is an experienced player, he is very committed on the pitch and he leads by example," said Loffreda of his new captain.

"With Ben Kay also in the team, I have a lot of confidence in their leadership on the field."

Meanwhile, Jon Dunbar is set to make his return for Leeds after picking up a hamstring injury in the second game of the season against Harlequins.

The loose forward has been named on the bench in place of Sam Stitcher and will be looking to recapture his early season form, when he was named as man of the match in the team's opening game against Gloucester.

Mike MacDonald and Vili Ma'asi will also make a return to the side who defeated Dax in the team's last match, after they both successfully recovered from minor injuries.

The pair replace Fosi Pala'amo and James Parkes who will both start the game on the bench. Rhys Oakley is the final change to the side, starting at number eight in place of Calum Clark who moves to flanker in place of Martín Schusterman.

Form: After back to back victories in the European Challenge Cup Leeds Carnegie return to Guinness Premiership action having won just one game in the competition this season. That victory, 26-21 over Worcester, was in Leeds' last home Premiership match on 12 October. Leicester Tigers have lost their last three away games in all competitions since a 20-17 victory over London Wasps at Adams Park in the Guinness Premiership on 30 September. Leicester achieved a Premiership double over Leeds the last time they met during season 2005/06, including a 28-20 win at Headingley to end the Tigers four game losing run at the stadium.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Sam Vesty, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Tom Youngs, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 Brett Deacon, 7 Lewis Moody (c), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Ben Kay, 4 James Hamilton, 3 Alex Moreno, 2 Mefin Davies, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Dave Young, 18 Richard Blaze, 19 Luke Abraham, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Paul Burke, 22 Ayoola Erinle.

Leeds Carnegie: 15 Leigh Hinton, 14 Apo Satala, 13 Rob Vickerman, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Joe Bedford, 8 Rhys Oakley, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Danny Paul, 5 Erik Lund, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 Colin Noon, 2 Vili Ma'asi, 1 Mike MacDonald.

Replacements: 16 Fosi Pala'amo, 17 James Parkes, 18 Pablo Bouza, 19 Jon Dunbar, 20 Darren Edwards, 21 Lee Blackett, 22 Jonny Hepworth.

Date: Saturday, 24 November

Kick-off: 14:45 GMT

Venue: Headingley Carnegie

Referee: Andrew Small

Touch judges: Robin Goodliffe, Alan Hughes

Assessor: Brian Leigh

Coach: Clive Leeke

Television match official: David Hudson, Geoff Warren

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