Friday, 13 November 2009

Tuqiri starts against Dragons

Leicester Tigers give winger Lote Tuqiri his first start and welcome back Toby Flood, Matt Smith and Craig Newby for Saturday's LV= Cup tie against Newport Gwent Dragons at Welford Road. (KO 3pm)

Tuqiri played 20 minutes off the bench in the historic win over South Africa last Friday and is given a starting berth this weekend, while Newby lines up in the back row, and Flood and Smith return to take a place among the replacements.

Will Hurrell retains his place after scoring a try at Leeds Carnegie last Sunday and Jeremy Staunton is at fly-half after sitting out last weekend.

Boris Stankovich, who played such a major role against the Springboks, is joined in the front row by Dan Cole and George Chuter. Geoff Parling links up with Ben Kay at lock, and Newby makes his comeback alongside Ben Pienaar and Jordan Crane in the back row.

"With Toby, Newbs and Matt Smith, we're starting to get a few back from injury now, which means we have more options available," said head coach Richard Cockerill.

"Jeremy Staunton and Anthony Allen were left out last week because they've played a lot of rugby and we want to have all the guys fresh because it is a long season."

The Dragons opened their cup campaign with a win over Sale Sharks and Cockerill said: "I know their coach Paul Turner well and they are going well this season. We respect them and Paul will have them well organised."

Tigers are still without Harry Ellis, Geordan Murphy, Billy Twelvetrees, Sam Vesty, Julian White and Ben Woods due to injury.

Shaun Connor will captain the Dragons in a side which sees both Jason Tovey and Wayne Evans return to the side after being rested last weekend, whilst Steve Jones returns from a knee injury to take up a position on the bench

Leicester Tigers: 15 Scott Hamilton 14 Lote Tuqiri 13 Andy Forsyth 12 Anthony Allen 11 Will Hurrell 10 Jeremy Staunton 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Boris Stankovich 2 George Chuter 3 Dan Cole 4 Geoff Parling 5 Ben Kay (capt) 6 Craig Newby 7 Ben Pienaar 8 Jordan Crane
Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies 17 Robbie Harris 18 Johnny Harris19 Calum Green 20 Dan Hemingway 21 James Grindal 22 Toby Flood 23 Matt Smith.

Dragons: Jason Tovey, Will Harries, Rhodri Gomer Davies, Tom Riley, Aled Brew, Shaun Connor (C), Wayne Evans, Hugh Gustafson, Duane Goodfield, Peter Bracken, Rob Sidoli, Adam Jones, Hoani Macdonald, Gavin Thomas, Grant Webb.
Replacements: Steve Jones, Pat Palmer, Daniel Watchurst, Toby Faletau, James Harris, Alex Walker, Adam Greendale, Martyn Thomas.


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