Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comRugby ExplainedConference & EventsContact UsHolland & Barrett

Report | Tigers make it five from five in Europe

Leicester Tigers secured a place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup with a 30-20 victory over Cardiff Blues at Welford Road on Sunday.

The four points took Tigers clear in top spot in Pool 5 as they made it five wins in a row to stay ahead of Pau and the Blues with one game remaining in the qualifying stages.

The Blues got off to a flying start with an early try but Tigers came back with tries from Sam Lewis, Jordan Olowofela and then Ben White, with George Ford landing two drop goals to provide extra breathing space on the scoreboard.

Tigers gave debuts to Joe Batley and Rory Hughes, while Greg Bateman made his first starting appearance since November, and Will Spencer and Harry Simmons returned to the squad after injury.

Blues head coach John Mulvihill made eight changes to the line-up from the previous week and made a late change when Hallam Amos dropped out, with Josh Adams reverting to the wing and Ben Thomas coming in at centre.

And it was Adams who made an instant mark with the opening try as a swift attack down their left gave the Wales international the opening. Jason Tovey added the conversion for a seven-point lead with just eight minutes played.

A spill from the restart, however, gave Tigers a platform at a scrum inside the opposition 22 until wrapped up on the ball in front of the posts.

George Worth charged down a Blues clearing kick to give himself a free run to the line, but referee George Clancy was already playing advantage for a Tigers knock-on and play came back for another scrum.

Batley made his first intervention as Tigers made ground in midfield and had Greg Bateman in support but the ball didn’t go to hand and the chance was gone.

The scores were level on 20 minutes after Lewis latched on to a break from Ford to dive in near the posts and the Tigers fly-half added the conversion.

Josh Navidi felt the force of the Tigers defence with a big hit from Olowofela and then driven backwards by Tom Youngs, though the Blues retained control of the ball for multiple phases just inside the home side’s half of the field.

Olowofela then ripped ball in contact but knocked-on as he tried to gather in a scrappy period of play punctuated by errors.

The Blues, though, took the lead for a second time just past the half-hour when an attack on the right gave them numbers out wide and Rey Lee-Lo offloaded for centre partner Ben Thomas to score. Tovey added the touchline conversion to make it 7-14 and a fair reflection of their share of possession thus far.

Telusa Veainu made a superb catch of a high ball as he chased a deep kick from Ford and spun out of contact to attack the Blues 22. When the visitors were penalised at the breakdown, Ford added three points from in front of the posts with less than a minute remaining in the half and the teams headed in with Cardiff 14-10 in front.

Straight from kick-off in the second half Olowofela reclaimed ball as Navidi let it slip from his grasp but the defence stood firm.

A penalty on halfway, though, gave Ford a chance to kick down the right and it was Olowofela who scored in the opposite corner after White had wrestled back possession from the set-piece then Ford and Eastmond combined in midfield to open the space out wide.

Ford’s touchline conversion increased the advantage from one to three points at 17-14.

Dropped ball at the restart gave Blues an attacking scrum and they quickly made the most of the field position, creating space for full-back Matthew Morgan to attack the tryline. He slid in and the visitors thought they had a third try, only for replays to show he had twisted on to his back and not got the ball down.

As he was held up, play restarted with an attacking scrum as Tigers sent on Tatafu Polota-Nau and Will Spencer. Although the ball squirted out in Tigers’ favour, the referee decided they had infringed in the front row and gave a penalty which Tovey kicked to level the scores again.

The to-and-fro contest continued in the same vein as Tigers broke in midfield and Olowofela put White in to score. Ford’s conversion from in front of the posts made it 24-17 on 55 minutes.

A thrilling attack from inside their own 22, with Veainu feeding Olowofela on the left and then taking the return pass after the young wing had beaten a handful of defenders in midfield, almost brought a try for the Tongan full-back, only to be held up in the right-hand corner.

Harry Wells and Will Spencer then carried forcefully in attack as the Blues were pinned back, but Tigers just couldn’t find the scoring opening and Ford dropped back to nudge a drop goal over and put the lead into double figures at 27-17 on 64 minutes.

Hughes picked his way through broken field near halfway as Tigers gained territory again, but when Ford’s chip over the defence ran dead, play came back almost to halfway. And when Blues gained some more metres in attack, Tiger were whistled offside and Tovey added a penalty to bring them back to within one score.

The restart kick from Ford pushed the Blues back again as they allowed it to bounce into touch just 10 metres out from the tryline and when the hosts won back ball, Ford took on another drop goal attempt, this time from 40 metres, and saw it sail through the posts with the final scoring chance of the day.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 10-14 CAR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 30-20 CAR

Attendance

16,538

Referee

George Clancy

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Cardiff Blues
Possession
60%
40%
Penalties Conceded
5
6
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
130/152 86%
111/134 83%
Scrums Won
6/6 100%
11/12 92%
Lineouts Won
10/10 100%
5/7 71%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Cardiff Blues
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Telusa Veainu
14Jordan Olowofela1T
13George Worth
12Kyle Eastmond
11Rory Hughes
10George Ford3C2D1P
9Ben White1T
1Greg Bateman
2Tom Youngs
3Joe Heyes
4Joe Batley
5Harry Wells
6Sam Lewis1T
7Tommy Reffell
8Jordan Coghlan
16Tatafu Polota-Nau
17Ellis Genge
18Nephi Leatigaga
19Will Spencer
20Ifereimi Boladau
21Harry Simmons
22Noel Reid
23Adam Thompstone
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
30

Full Time

Cardiff Blues
Cardiff Blues
20
Leicester Tigers
T
C
P
T
C
T
C
D
D
KOHTFT
Cardiff Blues
T
C
T
C
P
P

Commentary

80

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Four more pool points this afternoon mean Geordan Murphy's men are certainly into the knockout stages of European competition with a round to go, but a trip to Pau in Round 6 - and results elsewhere - will determine if it's a home tie.

Join us on Matchday Live next Saturday, January 18 (1.00pm UK time) to see how Tigers get on. And, if you're travelling to France, we'll see you there!

FULL TIME | 30-20

...but a forward pass brings the game to a close. Tigers come from behind to secure a Challenge Cup quarter-final with victory over Cardiff Blues.

80

BALL STILL IN PLAY

Cardiff attempt to run the ball out of their 22...

79

ARM UP ON THE LEICESTER SIDE

Big cheer from the Tigers Family as their men win a kickable penalty, but decide to go to the corner.

Ford is a little too greedy with his kick, though, and it's just the wrong side of the corner flag. The match - with the clock now into the red - will close with another scrum.

SIMMONS JOINS THE ACTION

...as he is replaced by Harry Simmons for his first appearance after recovering from injury. He goes to the wing, and Ben White stays at scrum-half.

76

OLOWOFELA HITS AGAIN

Another big hit from Olowofela in defence keeps Cardiff on the back foot, but that'll be the Tigers Academy graduate's final play in this game...

74

TO ME, TO YOU

Tigers look for the bonus-point score as they win another lineout in the 22, and Polota-Nau and Genge engage in a nice one-two at the front with the Cardiff pack distracted.

HEYES RETURNS

Leatigaga needs some treatment, so his replacement of Joe Heyes in the front row is reversed.

DROP GOAL NUMBER TWO!

You wait for one drop goal, and two come along at once.

This time, Ford puts one over from close to halfway to extend his side's lead with less than 10 minutes remaining.

70

BALL RIPPED IN CONTACT

The visitors stuff-up the restart, but come away with the ball from the set piece ... until it's ripped away by Polota-Nau. The big front-rower gets Tigers back on to the front foot.

PENALTY TO CARDIFF

Meanwhile, Cardiff win a shot at goal ... and it's through. They're back within seven.

THOMPSTONE ON

Rory Hughes gets a polite cheer from the home crowd as his debut comes to a close, replaced by Adam Thompstone.

66

NICE IDEA...

Fly-half Ford spots a huge swathe of grass in behind the Cardiff line, but the bounce of the ball brings it back inside and it bobbles dead. Not this time.

64

PAUSE FOR TREATMENT

Cardiff restart the game with a quick restart from the middle, but they've got a player down on the far side - can't quite make out who, from here - and so the clock is stopped while the medics do their work.

TIGERS TRIO CHANGED

Joe Heyes, Jordan Coghlan and Kyle Eastmond are replaced by Nephi Leatigaga, Ifereimi Boladau and Noel Reid, respectively.

DROP GOAL

Ford senses his side must come away with something from this passage of play, and he drills the ball through the posts for three more poitns.

62

HEAVY CARRIES UP THE MIDDLE

Ellis Genge is leading the charge with some heavy-duty carries right into the guts of the Cardiff defence - he bounces off one Welshman before Harry Wells tries the same down the right.

TWO MORE CARDIFF CHANGES

Corey Domachowski and Josh Navidi are both off, replaced by Brad Thyer and Will Boyde.

61

POSSESSION LOST

The ball is out (just) but the Blues back row are on to Ben White in a flash, and they win the ball back on the floor.

59

MORE RESET SCRUMS!

There's nothing like multiple reset scrums to warm you up on a crisp January afternoon, is there?

Clancy is adamant that we'll get the ball in and away form this pushing contest in the right-hand corner. Tigers up to the five-metre line.

22 FOR 23

You've got to feel for Harri Millard. The Blues back had just come on to the pitch, and now he's helped up the tunnel, holding his shoulder.

He's replaced by Tomos Williams.

57

DECISION: NO TRY!

Actually, we won't go to the TMO - Clancy discusses with his assistant on the near side and we'll restart with a scrum in the corner.

57

WE GO UPSTAIRS...

Welford Road crackles into life as Olowofela gets through the line once more and Veainu's diagonal run gets over the line.

We'll check with TMO Lee Colgan to see if the full-back has been successful...

ROBINSON FOR DAVIES

Olly Robinson replaces Seb Davies in the Blues abck row.

PROP SWAP

Ellis Genge joins the fray in place of Greg Bateman.

55

OUT ON THE FULL

Cardiff compound their defensive error by putting a kick out on the full, and Polota-Nau feeds the Tigers lineout to great effect on halfway.

CONVERSION ADDED

Ford's conversion stretches Tigers' lead to seven points.

TIGERS POUNCE FOR NUMBER THREE

Tigers work the overlap and Olowofela breaks through and feeds White to score try number three.

52

KICK TENNIS

Both sides opt for the box kick once more...

BLUES SUBSTITUTIONS

Dillon Lewis and Filo Paulo are both off, replaced by Dmitri Arhip and James Ratti.

NOTHING BETWEEN THEM...

Cardiff win a technical penalty, and Tovey's successful shot at goal brings the scores to 17 points apiece.

BLUES REPLACEMENT

Morgan, after coming oh-so-close to his side's third try, is helped from the field as he is replaced by Harri Millard.

TWO TIGERS CHANGES

Tom Youngs and Sam Lewis are applauded by the crowd as they are replaced by Tatafu Polota-Nau and the returning-from-injury Will Spencer.

48

TMO CHECK | BALL HELD UP

Well, that's a lesson in 'careful what you wish for' if ever we've seen one!

Cardiff strike off the back of the scrum and Matthew Morgan goes over in the corner ... only for replays to show the ball is held up by new wing Rory 'Rozza' Hughes.

46

ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES...

No, Lionel Richie isn't in the ground, but George Clancy has reset this scrum three times. Can we get the ball away, third time lucky?

TOUCHLINE CONVERSION

A tricky kick, but it's no problem for George Ford. Tigers have the lead.

OLOWOFELA OVER

The ball is secured at the lineout, and the backs work round the corner to put Olowofela over in front of the Mattioli Woods Stand. Neat.

42

REAL INTENSITY

Tigers have come out with all guns blazing in this second half, and Ford drills another kick into the croner to give his forwards a go from the lineout.

SECOND HALF GETS GOING

George Ford starts the second half, and Tigers have go-forward ball immediately!

40

MATCH ACTION | TO THE SKY

Ben White sends the ball skywards before the break at Welford Road.
 

JBN28287 ben white.jpg

HALF TIME | 10-14

...and that's the end of a first half that never really got going. Tigers head back into the sheds.

PENALTY KICK

Ford makes sure of his attempt from the tee to draw his side back within four points.

37

DANCING FEET

Ford hoists another kick high into the sky, and Veainu gets underneath it to beat his man. He dances past another, but is brought down illegally and Tigers will have a kick at goal.

36

HEYES HITS IT UP

Tigers' big tighthead puts his head down and carries the ball up into the Cardiff defense, stealing enough time for fly-half Ford to find some space in behind with a neat kick. Lineout inside the opposition 22.

SWIRLING CONVERSION

Not the cleanest of connections from Tovey's boot, but it's two points all the same. Cardiff lead 14 points to seven.

CARDIFF CRASH OVER

The Blues pull to the left and then strike on the fold back to the right, Rey Lee-Lo delivering an offload over the corner flag to feed centre partner Ben Thomas to score.

31

INTO THE CORNER

Cardiff win a penalty on the floor and drill the ball into the corner on the elft-hand side.

29

Geordan Murphy's men now with the lions' share - obvious joke, we won't make it - of possession in the last couple of minutes, but both teams stay reasonably static over halfway.

HIA REVERSAL

Harries is back with us following his HIA, and Millard retakes his place on the bench.

26

CARDIFF KNOCK ON

Cardiff keep knocking on the door ... but they keep getting batted back. Tommy Reffell leads the way - as promised in the week - with a couple of big tackles, and Tigers win a scrum for a Cardiff knock on.

24

DISJOINTED PLAY

A couple of defensive lineouts for the men in green, white and red, but scrum-half White looks to the sky to get his team some decent field position.

Cardiff run it back, but ti's Olowofela who puts in a big tackle in front of the Breedon Terrace.

21

22 DROP OUT

Cardiff string together the phases from the restart, and test the fringes of the Tigers defence - but can't find a way through this time.

Instead, they dab a kick through behind Veainu, who dots down behind his line for a 22 drop out.

ALL SQUARE AT WELFORD ROAD

George Ford splits the uprights and we're all square at Welford Road, seven points apiece.

LEWIS GALLOPS IN!

Third time lucky! Tigers disrupt the Cardiff throw and put Sam Lewis through a hole, and he gallops in for his side's first try of the afternoon.

17

MOMENTUM SWING!

Harry Wells steals the Blues throw, and Tom Youngs breaks up the field. Flashes of déjà vu as Bateman spills the pass.

HEAD INJURY ASSESSMENT

Cardiff wing Jason Harries is replaced by No23 Harri Millard.

15

SCRUM PENALTY?!

There's a roar from the Welford Road crowd - and not the good kind - as the referee raises his arm on the Cardiff side. Tovey finds good ground with his kick this time.

14

BATLEY BREAKS THROUGH

Tigers break the line through debutant Joe Batley, who finds half a hole and drags a pair of defenders with him as he offloads to Greg Bateman.

The front-rower can't take it, though, and there's an apologetic smirk as he turns to his team-mates. Nice idea!

We'll restart with a scrum on the edge of the visitors' 22.

13

EARLY PUSH

We're sure that wasn't int he script, though.

Clancy awards Cardiff a free-kick after an early push from the Tigers front row.

12

TAKE TWO...

Another good push from the Leicester forwards this time around, and Cardiff ca only make a few metres with their touch finder. Tigers turning the screw in the opposition half, here.

10

BIG SHOVE

The Tigers pack get a good nudge on at the scrum and it wheels almost a full 180 degrees, but referee George Clancy seems happy enough for scrum-half White to go digging.

He gets the ball out to Jordan Olowofela, but he is brought to ground by three Cardiff defenders. A couple of phases later, and the Blues win a scrum of their own under their sticks.

9

SCRUM DOWN!

Tigers force an immediate error from the restart as Cardiff knock on in their own 22, and we'll have an attacking scrum in a really promising position. Boris looks on...

AND THE EXTRAS

Tovey adds the conversion from the tee, and Cardiff lead by seven points to nil.

CARDIFF ON THE SCORESHEET

What's not so nice, though, is the Cardiff move off the back of the throw - at least for Tigers supporters.

The visitors work the ball through the hands off the set piece, and it's Josh Adams who scores in the corner.

5

KICK RETURN

Veainu makes a delicious catch - one-handed, above and behind him inside his own 22 - and boots downfield for a lineout beyond halfway. Nice.

4

INTO TOUCH

Leicester get the ball away from the set piece, but Telusa Veainu is knocked into touch in possession. Sam Lewis, though, steals the lineout throw and Tigers get the ball down the field and into the Cardiff half for the first time in this match.

2

LINEOUT DRIVE

Cardiff set up a maul from the throw, but it fizzles out and to the ground, as Tigers win the penalty. Ben White will feed into an early scrum.

1

CHARGE DOWN!

Tigers under immediate pressure as Blues lock Filo Paulo charges down the return from the restart. Cardiff into the home 22 ... and they win a lineout on the far side.

KICK-OFF FROM WELFORD ROAD

Jason Tovey puts boot to ball and gets Round 5 of the European Challenge Cup underway at Welford Road.

0

MOMENTS TO GO

The Guard of Honour is formed. The crowd are ready. 'Smoke on the Water' rings out.

Almost time for kick off from Welford Road!

0

CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS

Tigers welcome Will Spencer and Harry Simmons back from injury and give debuts to Joe Batley and Rory Hughes in this afternoon’s European fixture.

Batley starts in the second row after three games with the Development XV in the Premiership Shield, with Scotland international Hughes called up on the wing. Second-rower Spencer and scrum-half Simmons are both included among the replacements.

Sam Lewis – following his impressive performance in the Round 2 win over Cardiff – starts in the back row, while George Worth shifts to outside centre.

Cardiff make eight changes to the line-up following last week’s game against the Scarlets, and include Rugby World Cup top try scorer Josh Adams. In a late change, Hallam Amos drops out with injury, so Ben Thomas steps up from the bench to wear 13.

See the full match line-ups by clicking here, or scrolling down on this page.

0

COACH CAM | GEORDIE PREVIEWS CUP CLASH

We caught up with the head coach just before the turnstiles opened to see what he expects from Round 5 of the European Challenge Cup.

0

LTTV | ‘BABY RHINO’ INTERVIEWS BATLEY

On-loan lock Joe Batley was given an LTTV grilling with a difference at Saturday’s team run ahead of his senior debut in green, white and red.

The 23-year-old sat down with former Hartpury College team-mate Ellis Genge to discuss his time in Leicester so far, and the challenge posed by a strong Blues side this afternoon.

Batley also told his good friend and now Tigers team-mate that there will be plenty of familiar faces in the Welford Road stands for his first appearance.

“I’ve got my whole family [here], it’s nice,” he said. “It’ll be nice for them to come up and watch me.”

You can watch the full interview on LTTV, right here.

0

REFFELL LEADS THE WAY IN WELSH CHALLENGE

Tigers back-rower Tommy Reffell says his side can draw on the experience of November's gritty win in Cardiff for this afternoon’s return fixture.

The Wales Under-20s star missed the 14-11 win at the Arms Park in November through injury, but wears the No7 shirt in Round 5.

“The boys put in one hell of a defensive shift when we went down there,” he said.

“I know from playing on that pitch myself, it’s a really fast track and the boys did well to stop them win limited points.

“We want to keep improving ourselves over the next two games, and we’ll be able to kick on from that.

“The coaches have shown a lot of faith in me this season, and I want to repay them by playing well on the pitch.”

Read the back-rower’s full preview of this afternoon’s match here.

0

MATCH PREVIEW | POOL 5, ROUND 5

With a European quarter final at stake, the top two contenders in Pool 5 of the Challenge Cup go head to head at Welford Road this afternoon.

After four wins from four games so far, Tigers have 18 points – five ahead of the Blues who host Calvisano in the final round next weekend. French club Pau jumped up to 15 points overnight following a big win in Italy, leaving everything still to play for in the race for quarter-final qualification.

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “We appreciate we’ve got to get better. We’re making steps in the right direction but there are also areas to improve on.

“We’ve won four out of four but nothing is decided in the pool yet.”

Read our full match preview here, or scroll down on this page.

0

WELCOME TO MATCHDAY LIVE!

We’re LIVE from Welford Road for Leicester Tigers’ latest challenge in European competition against Cardiff Blues, with kick-off to come at 3.15pm.

Follow all the action as it happens with our Matchday Live coverage, right here on the Tigers App and LeicesterTigers.com.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Matthew Morgan
14
Jason Harries
13
Ben Thomas
12
Rey Lee-Lo
11
Josh Adams
10
Jason Tovey
9
Lloyd Williams
1
Corey Domachowski
2
Liam Belcher
3
Dillon Lewis
4
Filo Paulo
5
Josh Turnbull
6
Shane Lewis-Hughes
7
Josh Navidi
8
Seb Davies

Subs

16
Ethan Lewis
17
Bradley Thyer
18
Dimitri Arhip
19
James Ratti
20
Will Boyde
21
Olly Robinson
22
Tomos Williams
23
Harri Millard

Euro preview | Tigers versus Blues this Sunday

The top two contenders in Pool 5 of the European Challenge Cup go head to head at Welford Road on Sunday as Leicester Tigers host Cardiff Blues.

After four wins from four games so far, Tigers have 18 points – five ahead of the Blues who host Calvisano in the final round next weekend and eight ahead of Pau who are in Italy this week – with everything still to play for in the race of quarter-final qualification.

This is Tigers’ 15th home game against Welsh opposition in European rugby and a fifth meeting with the Blues in Champions or Challenge Cup.

In the previous meeting this season, Tigers won 14-11 at the Arms Park in Cardiff with a Jordan Coghlan try and the kicking of Tom Hardwick.

Looking back at that game ahead of Sunday’s re-match, Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “We put out a young team there and people said we wouldn’t win with those guys, but they did us proud and it was one of the better performances of the season.

“I thought those guys played a really astute game there, we defended very well and stayed in it. We did a lot of good things that night.”

With an eye on the return fixture this weekend, Murphy added: “The Blues are a quality side, their performances have hugely improved in recent weeks and they’ve integrated their World Cup boys really well. They like to run the ball but also have the ability to play smart rugby and put themselves into the right areas.

“We appreciate we’ve got to get better. We’re making steps in the right direction but there are also areas to improve on.

“We’ve won four out of four but nothing is decided in the pool yet.”

In team news announced on Friday, Tigers give debut to on-loan duo Joe Batley and Rory Hughes in a team captained by Tom Youngs. Greg Bateman, Will Spencer and Harry Simmons are all included in the squad after recovery from injury.

Blues head coach John Mulvihill makes eight changes to the line-up following last week’s game against the Scarlets with international wing Josh Adams switching to outside centre.

Dillon Lewis returns from a hamstring injury to make his first Blues appearance of the season after playing in every game for Wales at the World Cup.

Mulvihill told the club website: “We travel to Welford Road with a pretty exciting team and a lot of boys will be going out there with a point to prove.

“This is an opportunity for those coming in to put their hands up and it will be a good challenge against a competitive Leicester side. We’re looking forward to the contest.”

Irish official George Clancy is Sunday’s match referee.

Kick-off on Sunday is at 3.15pm. This game is not scheduled for live coverage with BT Sport. If you are unable to attend the game, you can keep up to date with the action on the Matchday Live service on the Tigers website and app or social media channels.

All pool fixtures in Europe are included in Tigers season tickets.

For all other supporters, match tickets are available now at the Tigers ticket office. The office is open 9.00am-5.00pm on Saturday and from 9.00am on matchday. Book in person, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online any time.

Click here for our matchday guide to help you get the most from your time at Welford Road.

Team news | Tigers versus Cardiff Blues

Leicester Tigers welcome Will Spencer and Harry Simmons back from injury and give debuts to Joe Batley and Rory Hughes in the European Challenge Cup fixture against Cardiff Blues at Welford Road on Sunday (3.15pm).

Batley starts in the second row after three games with the Development XV in the Premiership Shield, with Scotland international Hughes called up on the wing.

Second-rower Spencer and scrum-half Simmons are both included among the replacements.

Greg Bateman starts for the first time since the league game at London Irish in November, lining up alongside Joe Heyes and captain Tom Youngs in the front row, and there is a place in the back row for Sam Lewis who also started the Round 2 win over the Blues in Cardiff.

George Worth, who has been included in the 23-man squad on all but one of the 17 matchdays so far this season, starts at centre alongside Kyle Eastmond as the top two teams in Pool 5 clash at Welford Road. In another change to the backline from the victory over Bristol Bears last Saturday, Ben White starts at scrum-half.

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “We’ve had some good results in this tournament but nothing is decided in the pool yet and we’re going into a tough part of the season with two games in Europe and then the Six Nations period.     

“We’ve given opportunities to players to play in this tournament and they’ve done a good job. There was some criticism of the team away to Calvisano but I was pleased we got a win there in a tricky game and we had a young side who did us proud away to Cardiff. It gives me the faith we can pick guys and they will stand up and take opportunities.”

Match tickets are available now. Book in person, phone 0116 319 8888 or online at www.leicestertigers.com

Leicester Tigers (v Cardiff Blues, Welford Road, Sunday 3.15pm)

15 Telusa Veainu       

14 Jordan Olowofela

13 George Worth

12 Kyle Eastmond      

11 Rory Hughes         

10 George Ford          

9 Ben White

1 Greg Bateman

2 Tom Youngs (c)

3 Joe Heyes

4 Joe Batley

5 Harry Wells

6 Sam Lewis

7 Tommy Reffell         

8 Jordan Coghlan

Replacements

16 Tatafu Polota-Nau 

17 Ellis Genge           

18 Nephi Leatigaga    

19 Will Spencer

20 Ifereimi Boladau

21 Harry Simmons

22 Noel Reid  

23 Adam Thompstone

Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Jason Harries, 13 Josh Adams, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Lloyd Williams; 1 Corey Domachowski, 2 Liam Belcher, 3 Dillon Lewis, 4 Filo Paulo, 5 Josh Turnbull, 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 7 Josh Navidi (c), 8 Seb Davies

Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 James Ratti, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Olly Robinson, 22 Tomos Williams, 23 Ben Thomas

 

Matchday guide | Tigers versus Cardiff Blues

Check out our Matchday Guide to get the most out of your day with Leicester Tigers and the European Challenge Cup fixture against Cardiff Blues at Welford Road this Sunday (3.15pm).

MATCH TICKETS

Ticket office

Tickets are available at the Tigers ticket office, which is open 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Saturday each week and from 9.00am on matchday. 

You can use the print-at-home option for match tickets purchased online.

Or, if you are picking up pre-purchased tickets, self-service kiosks are available at the collection point on the plaza outside the Holland & Barrett Stand.  You will need your booking number handy to print your ticket at the kiosk.

Fans are reminded that this week’s game is a 3.15pm fixture on Sunday.

Team news is announced from both camps at noon on Friday and look out for the big-match preview on the website on Saturday.

GETTING TO WELFORD ROAD

Matchday buses from Market Harborough, Oakham and Market Bosworth, run in conjunction with Orbit Coaches, are all scheduled to arrive at the stadium 45 minutes ahead of kick-off and depart for the return half an hour after the final whistle. 

For full route details and this week’s timetable, click here.

BEFORE KICK-OFF

The club store is open from 9.00am with a chance for supporters to take advantage of some January sales across a number of ranges. 

The Junior Tigers Club Area is open two hours before kick-off at every home game with activities for young fans to take part in activities and games, as well as the chance to meet Tigers players. The JTC is free to join and is located in the Final Whistle. There is also a draw each week to find a matchday mascot and the chance to lead out the team for a big game. Sign up here.

Hear from inside the Tigers camp with a player Q&A in Final Whistle at 1.55pm.

Please note that Welford Road is a CASHLESS STADIUM. Once you have entered the stadium, card and contactless payments is the only method of payment. Please read our advice for fans for more information.

FOOD & DRINK

ABC Bar

Stadium turnstiles, bars and food kiosks open will be open from 1.30pm with a number of food offers for fans.

From 1.45pm to 2.15pm across the stadium, supporters will be able purchase:

Four pints for £15.50 (excluding £1 cup deposit)*
Pie ‘n’ Pint for £6.30 (excluding £1 cup deposit)
*draught products only

Also from 1.45pm to 2.45pm stadium-wide, there is a special pre-game meal deal offer for just £7.10:

1x hot food (excludes pizza)
1x soft/hot drink
1x confectionery

On the upper concourse of the Holland & Barrett Stand, there is an exclusive pizza offer for supporters available all game. Grab any pizza, wedges and two drinks for £12.50.

Post-match, the Final Whistle Bar in the Holland & Barrett Stand will be running an offer on Tiger cask beers priced at £3.50 while stocks last (excluding £1 cup deposit).

​BUILD-UP TO KICK-OFF

Sunday’s match programme includes a chat with George Worth after passing 50 appearances for his boyhood club and everything you need to know about the Challenge Cup.

The 100-page handy-sized programme is available at stalls in and around the stadium, price £3. Stalls outside the stadium take cash payments, with stalls inside cashless only. 

Fan Radios (price £10) are available from programme sellers and at the ticket office so you can listen to the referee or match commentary at games throughout the season.

Teams from junior clubs and schools in the region join us on the pitch as Flag Wavers and Guard of Honour in the approach to kick-off.

You can use the ‘Big Screen’ function on the Official Leicester Tigers App to submit photos of your matchday. Don’t forget to take a photo in our Welfie Spot in the Mattioli Woods Stand.

HALF-TIME ENTERTAINMENT

Big Boot

Look out for the Ultimate Big Boot and a special edition of the Golden Big Boot on the pitch with a chance for one supporter to win £100 of Joules vouchers. 

Two supporters will also go head-to-head in the latest STIHL Blower Race half-time challenge as they race their rugby balls around our course using a STIHL cordless blower. 

We will also announce this week’s season ticket winner in the Tigers Lotto as well as welcome this week’s matchday coaching clinic groups on to the pitch for a photo. 

POST-MATCH

After the match, there is live music from resident band Rock Bottom in Final Whistle Bar and bars around the stadium will remain open.

Post-match, the Final Whistle Bar in the Holland & Barrett Stand will be running an offer on Tiger cask beers priced at £3.50 while stocks last (excluding £1 cup deposit).

Fans can redeem their £1 cup return from any till throughout the game. Post-match, fans will find dedicated cup return units positioned towards the main exits as well as at post-match bars that remain open. So pop in to either the Droglites, ABC and Crumbie bars or The Final Whistle Bar for a post-match pint.

The ticket office will remain open for an hour after the game for any ticket queries, Half Season Ticket or match ticket bookings.

The club store will also remain open for an hour after the game. 

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI6501181958623102123
3
Cardiff Blues
Cardiff BluesCAR63032161199730134218
Form Guide
Form
DDDDD
Last Match
Draw with Harlequins null-null
Past Meeting
Won 30-20
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LWLLW
Last Match
Beat Rugby Calvisano 64-3
Past Meeting
Lost 20-30

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers30
Leicester Tigers
Cardiff Blues20
Cardiff Blues
Full Time