Harlequins hit by Six Nations absentees for sold-out clash with Leicester Tigers

Adam Kyriacou
Jarrod Evans kicking for Harlequins.

Jarrod Evans kicking for Harlequins.

Harlequins will be without several stars that include Marcus Smith and Danny Care for their Premiership game against Leicester Tigers at a sold-out Stoop on Friday.

The squad features several changes following the 47-19 win over Ulster, with five players unavailable due to the Six Nations, alongside the return of Jarrod Evans and Cadan Murley, and a potential debut for loan signing Arthur Clark.

In the pack, Fin Baxter starts at loosehead prop alongside Jack Walker at hooker and Will Collier at tighthead.

Joe Launchbury leads Harlequins

Joe Launchbury captains Harlequins for the first time, joining Irne Herbst at second-row.

George Hammond shifts to blindside flanker to partner Will Evans at openside and James Chisholm at number eight.

In the backs, Max Green makes his first start at scrum-half, alongside the returning Evans.

Andre Esterhuizen and Will Joseph reignite their centre combination, with Louis Lynagh on the left wing and Nick David on the right. Tyrone Green continues at full-back.

Amongst the replacements, there’s returns for prop Santiago Garcia Botta, scrum-half Lewis Gjaltema and fly-half Will Edwards. Second-row Arthur Clark, who joined the club on loan from Gloucester, is in line for his debut, with Murley making his return from injury.

“It’s never an easy match against Leicester but the group have worked hard this week and we’re looking forward to the challenge on Friday night. With several changes required this week it’s excited to welcome back some boys from injury and reward others with an opportunity,” said Quins director of rugby Billy Millard.

Meanwhile, tighthead prop Dan Richardson will wear the famous Leicester number three jersey in the Premiership for the first time with Academy prop Tim Hoyt set for his league debut off the bench.

Harry Wells and Kyle Hatherell form a new lock partnership with Olly Cracknell starting at openside in place of Welsh international Tommy Reffell who misses out through injury.

There’s also a place on the bench for back-rower Finn Carnduff. Carnduff captained England U20s in their last training fixture after putting in some big shifts for Tigers in the Premiership Cup earlier in the season.

Leicester Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar, said: “We’re excited to see Dan [Richardson] get a crack as a starter and for Tim [Hoyt] and Finn [Carnduff] getting their opportunity on the bench.

“Those boys have trained with us; they know what’s expected of them and they’ll have plenty of support from their teammates.

“Back in the league this week, there’s no doubt that Friday night’s a big game for our season so we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

The teams

Harlequins: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Nick David, 13 Will Joseph, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Louis Lynagh, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Max Green, 8 James Chisholm, 7 Will Evans, 6 George Hammond, 5 Irne Herbst, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Will Collier, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Fin Baxter
Replacements: 16 Sam Riley, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Arthur Clark, 20 Archie White, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Will Edwards, 23 Cadan Murley

Leicester Tigers: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Mike Brown, 13 Dan Kelly, 12 Solomone Kata, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Tom Whiteley, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Olly Cracknell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 5 Kyle Hatherell, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Richardson, 2 Julián Montoya (c), 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Finn Theobold-Thomas, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Tim Hoyt, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Matt Rogerson, 21 Finn Carnduff, 22 Ben Youngs, 23 Matt Scott

Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys, Peter Allan
TMO: Andrew Jackson

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