Planet Rugby

Preview: Leicester v Worcester

06th September 2013 11:42

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SKY_MOBILE Logovi i Mulipola Leicester Tigers

Power: Logovi'i Mulipola

Leicester Tigers will kick off a new season at Welford Road with four new signings in the 23-man squad against Worcester Warriors.

The matchday squad also includes all six Tigers who shared in the British and Irish Lions success in Australia.

With new club captain Toby Flood injured in the pre-season match against Ulster last week, Louis Deacon will lead out the team on home soil for the first match of the new season in his 250th appearance for the club.

Half-backs David Mele and Ryan Lamb make their club debuts, with fellow summer signings Neil Briggs and Owen Williams named among the replacements.

Lions forwards Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Geoff Parling and Tom Croft are included in the starting line-up, with Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi on the bench.

Meanwhile, director of rugby Dean Ryan will hand competitive debuts to five summer signings in Warriors' against Leicester.

Captain Jonathan Thomas, Ignacio Mieres Jeremy Su'a, Mike Williams and Jeremy Becasseau will all start at Welford Road as Dean Ryan takes charge of his first top-flight match in over four years.

There is also a return to action for centre Ravai Fatiaki, who missed much of last season through injury.

He will be partnered in midfield by fellow Fijian Josh Matavesi, with David Lemi, Josh Drauniniu and Chris Pennell completing the backline.

John Andress lines-up alongside Ed Shervington and Becasseau in the front row with Dean Schofield partnering Williams at lock.

Sam Betty and Semisi Taulava complete the back row as Warriors go head-to-head with last season's Aviva Premiership champions.

"We get going on Sunday and we have the challenge of facing Leicester Tigers at Welford Road - but it doesn't get any better than starting there," said Ryan.

"Leicester are champions and Welford Road is not an easy place to go at any time. But I think we will be more excited there than at any other stadium.

"We will gain ten per cent because we are fired up about being at Welford Road and we have a chance.

"That applies to every single game if we are competitive. We have got to be at our best and they have got to take us for granted - and it happens all the time.

"Competitive behaviour is something we have got to get in this club every time we take to the field and that doesn't matter where we are."

Form: Leicester Tigers won their opening clash of the 2011/12 campaign against London Welsh - their first victory on the opening weekend since 2008. The Tigers' only loss in their last eight Aviva Premiership Rugby matches was at Bath, 26-27, on 20 April. Worcester Warriors' solo victory in round one of the Premiership came in 2011 when they defeated Sale at Sixways. The Warriors finished off last season with five straight defeats and have not won away from home in the competition since a visit to London Wasps on New Year's Day 2012. The Tigers have won their last eight matches against Worcester, whilst the Warriors' have never won in eleven previous visits to Welford Road since 1895.

The teams:

Leicester Tigers: 15 Niall Morris, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Anthony Allen, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 David Mele, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon (c), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Manusamoa Tuilagi

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Josh Drauniniu, 13 Ravai Fatiaki, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Jeremy Su'a, 8 Semisi Taulava, 7 Sam Betty, 6 Jonathan Thomas (C), 5 Dean Schofield, 4 Mike Williams, 3 John Andress, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Jeremy Becasseau
Replacements: 16 Nick Seymour, 17 Paul Andrew, 18 Rob O'Donnell, 19 Chris Jones, 20 Jake Abbott, 21 Paul Hodgson, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Jon Clarke

Date: Sunday, September 8
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 14.00 BST (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
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Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
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Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
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Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs Tasman19:35
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
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Recent Results
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All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
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Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
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Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
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ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
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Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
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Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
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Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
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Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
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ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
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Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
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Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26