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Report | Tigers beaten at leaders Chiefs

Leicester Tigers were beaten 26-13 by Exeter Chiefs as the Gallagher Premiership restarted at Sandy Park on Saturday.

Five months on from Round 13 of the season, the action finally resumed following the COVID-19 shutdown, with Steve Borthwick leading Tigers as head coach for the first time.

Matt Scott and David Williams made their debuts in the backline, and fellow new arrivals Zack Henry and Luke Wallace saw action from the bench in the second half as Tigers emerged empty-handed.

A fixture originally scheduled for March 21 got under way behind closed doors after Tom Youngs led out Tigers in his 150th starting appearance for the club and both teams paid tribute to the NHS and Rugby Against Racism before kick-off.

Tigers started brightly in terms of possession, territory and also keen defence, taking a six-point lead through George Ford before Chiefs grabbed scores through Dave Ewers and Stuart Hogg to lead 12-6 at half-time.

Luke Cowan-Dickie’s converted score at the restart stretched that lead and they added a penalty try for a bonus point before Tigers received he same award to make it 26-13 around the hour and there were no further scores either way in a scrappy final quarter.

Tigers made a good start to the afternoon with Tommy Reffell winning a penalty over the ball and Ben Youngs taking a quick tap to threaten the line. Debutant wing Dave Williams was stopped short on the right but the forwards kept their patience on the ball until space opened again, this time for George Worth before he was stopped by a high tackle.

A carry from Tom Youngs when Chiefs missed their first lineout kept the visitors on the front foot and the game was nearly nine minutes old before Exeter built their first phases in attack, where Reffell got over a tackle from Jaco Taute to gain another breakdown penalty.

When referee Tom Foley blew again in Tigers’ favour on Exeter’s 10-metre line, Ford judged the kick from 40 metres perfectly to put the opening points on the board with 11 minutes gone.

Scrum-half Youngs showed good anticipation in defence on halfway to stop Ollie Devoto and, although they were pushed back by a kick in behind, Tigers defended resolutely and were rewarded with put-in at scrum following a knock-on in front of the posts.

Ford doubled the advantage with a superb drop goal after strong possession on the left which took him past 600 Premiership points for the club.

After a brief drinks break, Tigers got forward again as Ford looked to pick out Jordan Olowofela on the left but he was closed out as he claimed the high ball.

But Chiefs claimed the opening try of the afternoon after Henry Slade prodded a penalty down their right and, after Luke Cowan-Dickie had been stopped a fraction short, Ewers picked up to push over.

Joe Simmonds pulled his kick wide of the near post with Tigers ahead by a single point approaching the half-hour mark.

Harry Wells and skipper Tom Youngs received direction from the referee after two more peanlties at the set-piece but strong work in defence kept Exeter out and Dan Cole clawed loose ball back for Youngs to kick clear.

Matt Scott showed his strength in defence to hold up Devoto and then stopped international team-mate Stuart Hogg on halfway.

But the Chiefs full-back quickly made amends as he finished a sweeping move from a scrum on halfway to dive into the right-hand corner to give the home team the lead for the first time just seconds away from the half-time whistle.

Simmonds, kicking from the right touchline, this time hit the mark to make it 12-6 as the teams headed into the break.

The hosts were immediately back on the scoreboard from the restart, gaining territory with a penalty on the left and then scoring their third try as hooker Cowan-Dickie tapped as the whistle went again and pushed his way over. The conversion made it 19-6.

Another penalty award for Chiefs brought pressure back on the Tigers pack at a five-metre lineout and it also brought the bonus point score as the referee awarded a penalty try as their maul rached the line and also issued a yellow card to No8 Jordan Taufua with Tigers now 26-6 behind.

A scrum penalty finally got Tigers back into the attack and, after Ford set up position on the left, Wells caught lineout ball and, as the maul charged forward, referee Foley repeated the dose from the opposite end of the pitch to award Tigers a penalty try and show yellow to Chiefs lock Jonny Hill.

With the score now at 29-13, and both teams with 14 men, a second drinks break followed, with both sets of coaches keen to introduce fresh legs from the bench.

Penalties had racked up against Tigers throughout and another whistle gave Exeter position in the right-hand corner. This time, though, they were victims of the penalty call as they tried to set up another maul.

Nephi Leatigaga, Jake Kerr and Joe Heyes formed a new front row as Tigers won a scrum penalty in an attacking position and Taufua was back on the field as they tried to set up a push for the tryline, but Exeter’s defence kept them out.

Zack Henry completed a quartet of debutants with 68 minutes played before Thom Smith made his Premiership bow in the closing stages.

Tigers were still looking for chances in attack, with Williams almost finding a way through before opposite wing Olly Woodburn dived on his chip ahead on the right and Chiefs having to resists some pressure on their own 22 before eventually finding their way out safely.

The game ended with Williams sensing his chance on the right wing, but the chip was again mopped up in defence as Chiefs brought the game to a close with five points banked.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

EXE 12-6 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

EXE 26-13 LEI

Attendance

Not available

Referee

Tom Foley

Match Stats

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
Possession
57%
43%
Territory
53%
47%
Penalties Conceded
11
18
Yellow Cards
1
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
95/107 89%
111/125 89%
Scrums Won
8/8 100%
10/10 100%
Lineouts Won
26/29 90%
11/11 100%

Player Stats

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15George Worth
14David Williams
13Jaco Taute
12Matt Scott
11Jordan Olowofela
10George Ford1D1P
9Ben Youngs
1Ellis Genge
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Tomas Lavanini
5Calum Green
6Harry Wells
7Tommy Reffell
8Jordan Taufua
16Jake Kerr
17Nephi Leatigaga
18Joe Heyes
19Hanro Liebenberg
20Luke Wallace
21Thom Smith
22Ben White
23Zack Henry
Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs
26

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
13
Exeter Chiefs
T
T
C
T
C
T
KOHTFT
Leicester Tigers
P
D
T

Commentary

80

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

A strange atmosphere as we navigate the 'new normal' - but your support is just as crucial as ever, #TigersFamily.

We'll be back in action next Saturday, August 22 (4.30pm) against Bath Rugby from Welford Road. Make sure to join us again next weekend.

FULL TIME | 26-13

Tigers go down to the league leaders in their first game back, after a hard-fought performance in the South West.

80

FINAL SURGE

Tigers make a late break down the right, but with the clock in the red Tom O'Flaherty just needs to get a foot to the ball and nudge it into touch ... and he does exactly that. And that's the game.

79

CANNON BALL!

Tigers win a technical penalty in their 22 and George Ford boots the ball within a few metres of the M5. We're sure that would have sounded just as loud with proper crowd noise. A huge kick.

78

CROSS-FIELD KICK

The strong Tigers line speed forces Exeter to go to the sky once more, with Henry Slade attempting to pick out Olly Woodburn on the left.

76

TERRITORY GAME

Don Armand breaks out from the back of the Exeter scrum to put his team on the front foot once more, but Tigers still hold them in their half.

74

...NOT QUITE

The Tigers front row power over Exeter at the scrum, and the ball is whipped out to the backs - but it's a difficult flat pass to a full-tilt Taute, who can't quite claim it to break the line. Frustrating.

73

JUGGLING SKILLS

Ford folds the attack in half as Matt Scott runs a nice line from right to left and back again, but the slick ball beats David Williams on the right and Joe Heyes is forced to into smacking the ball back for Liebenberg to claim on the floor.

PREMIERSHIP DEBUT

Thom Smith is on the field for the first time in the Gallagher Premiership as he takes the place of Jordan Taufua.

71

TRUCKING UP

Leatigaga is picked out to try and push through the Exeter line over halfway, but the home side seem to have the answers at the moment.

69

TIGERS IN CONTROL

The men in fluoro-red have the - ahem - lion's share of possession now, and we'll pause for water before restarting with another throw in the right-hand corner.

EXETER CHANGES

Sam Skinner is on for Jonny Gray, while Sam Hidalgo-Clyne replaces Jack Maunder.

CHANGE AT 15

Zack Henry is on for his Tigers debut, in the place of full-back George Worth.

67

TAKE TWO

...but Tigers win the ball back at the throw, and Ford puts his side back into the same corner for another bite of the cherry.

66

CHANGE OF PACE

Exeter look to wring this game by the neck as they slow things down, and walk up to a lineout on halfway.

64

PUSHING ON

Some abrasive work - and some industrial language - from the Tigers attackers, but the black wall of Exeter defenders closes in and a couple of missed passes spill the ball back to the home side. Unfortunate.

63

SETPIECE WIN

Tigers on the right side of the ref again with a strong push at scrum-time, and Ford drives his team into the corner as Jordan Taufua rejoins the action. Leicester now at full complement.

ON THE HOUR

Nephi Leatigaga and Hanro Liebenberg join the action in place of Ellis Genge and Tomás Lavanini

60

PRESSURE RELIEVED

Exeter go to the corner as they turn the screw, but the Tigers pack dislodge their maul this time around and win a penalty of their own. Lovely stuff.

59

SCRUM RESETS

A slight lull in the action as referee Foley resets a scrum just inside the Tigers half, and Exeter finally call their left wing into action as the ball is pulled out wide.

SCRUM-HALF CHANGE

Ben for Ben - White for Youngs - as Steve Borthwick swaps his scrum-half for the final quarter.

PROP SWAP

Dan Cole is replaced by Joe Heyes in the Tigers front row.

HOME CHANGES

Jack Yeandle and Tomas Francis are on for Exeter in place of Luke Cowan-Dickie and Harry Williams.

YELLOW CARD | JONNY HILL

Both teams don to 14 now as Jonny Hill trudges to the bench for a 10-minute breather.

PENALTY TRY TO TIGERS!

The set from Jake Kerr's throw is a good one, and Tigers are awarded the full seven points as they rumble over the line.

56

SCRUM PENALTY

Tigers get some free ball after a pre-engagement at the scrum, and Ford once again drills it into the corner.

ARMAND FOR SIMMONDS

Don Armand replaces Chiefs No8 Sam Simmonds.

54

KNOCK ON

...but it's not all going Exeter's way, as a testing kick forces a knock on from full-back Hogg.

Ben Youngs has the feed at a Tigers scrum in the home half.

YELLOW CARD | JORDAN TAUFUA

Jordan Taufua is shown a yellow card for his part in bringing down the Exeter maul, and Tigers will be down to 14 men for the timebeing.

BONUS-POINT TRY

Exeter rumble over from their lineout, and they are awarded a penalty try.

51

MORE LINE SPEED

Exeter keep their ball from the scrum, but the hot-off-the-mark work from the Tigers backs helps kill the Chiefs attack for now.

CHANGE AT HOOKER

Jake Kerr is on for Tom Youngs, and George Ford will take over the on-field captaincy.

48

KICK TENNIS

Oh, we've missed this. And you don't get quite the same strain in the neck watching kick tennis on the TV than from the stands.

Ford finally finds touch and Tigers are up into the Exeter half again.

46

STRONG SCRUM

A decent nudge at scrum-time sets the platform to allow George Ford to extricate this Tigers side from their own half. Bingo.

TIGERS DEBUT

Luke Wallace is on for his first Tigers appearance as he replaces Tommy Reffell.

45

SLICK SURFACE

Matt Scott loses his footing on the wet grass and Exeter win the ball back on the floor.

HOME CHANGE

Ollie Devoto is replaced by Ian Whitten in the Exeter midfield.

TRY CONVERTED

Joe Simmons makes no mistake from the tee, and Exeter lead by 19 points to six.

QUICK THINKING FROM EXETER

Luke Cowan-Dickie spots a gap in the Leicester line, and gets over for a score from a tap-and-go penalty.

42

FIELD POSITION

An Ollie Devoto chargedown and a penalty on the floor give Exeter some territory as they edge up to the five-metre line.

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY

After some half-time oranges, we're underway in the second half from Sandy Park.

40

READY FOR ROUND TWO

Tom Youngs and his men are back out on the field ready for the second half.

HALF TIME | 12-6

A promising opening 40 minutes from this new-look Tigers side, leading right up until a late Exeter score. This game is nicely balanced heading into the second half.

EXTRAS ADDED

Joe Simmonds converts to give Exeter a six-point lead going into the break.

HOGG SLIDES OVER

...but it also offers a close-up of Stuart Hogg as he slides over for a second Chiefs score.

The home side pull the trigger off the back of the set-piece, and it's the full-back who finishes the move.

36

SCRUM RESET

TV coverage is great, isn't it? Means you can see the frustration on the Exeter front row's faces as Ellis Genge gets under their skin and forces a scrum reset. Excellent.

34

MAUL BROUGHT DOWN

Matt Scott links up with George Ford - and mates - to break the Chiefs momentum and bring down a trademark rumbling maul.

Cue some well-deserved pats on the back.

32

WARNING FOR WELLS

Harry Wells is given a final warning as Exeter press up to the line. But he makes amends as he disrupts the home lineout and puts Chiefs on the abck foot once more.

31

TMO CHECK?

A bit of confusion as referee Foley initial blows for a no-arms tackle from Jordan Taufua ... but after a word in his ear it turns out there's nothing in it. Exeter have the ball.

30

LEICESTER LINEOUT

Jordan Olowofela goes up against Tom O'Flaherty in the air, and forces an error from the Exeter man that sees the ball fly into touch. Leicester throw.

28

OVER THE TOP

A long, long lineout throw from Exeter wins the home side a few metres, but Tigers are back into the home half.

27

CONVERSION MISSED

Joe Simmons can't convert from the touchline, so Tigers still have the slenderest of leads as we approach the half-hour mark.

EXETER DOT DOWN

Exeter turn on their trademark move from a tap-and-go penalty five metres out, and i's Dave Ewers who flops over the line for the first try of the match.

24

IN AT THE SIDE

The Tigers pack can't quite replicate the penalty drawn at the last maul and instead Exeter get a peep on Foley's whistle.

23

BOUNCING BALL

The ball is in and out of the scrum in a flash, and George Ford attempts the kick-through rather than feeding his backline, and Exeter wing Tom O'Flaherty just about gets a mitt to it.

22

TIGERS PENALTY

Exeter make a mess of their maul - thanks mainly to the defensive work of Tomás Lavanini and Calum Green - and Tigers win a scrum.

21

FIVE METRES OUT!

Jaco Taute doing a great job of disrupting the Exeter defenders in the left-hand corner this time, but he's pinged in the next phase for coming through the ruck and Henry Slade can boot downfield.

19

SLAPPED BACKWARDS

There's an audible crack as David Williams slaps the ball backwards for a grateful Tommy Reffell to collect, which enables Ford to find some more ground down the right-hand touchline.

DROP GOAL FROM FORD

Tigers press up to the edge of the 22, but as Exeter shift gears fly-half Ford opts for the drop-goal ... and he nails it. Three more points.

17

DISRUPTING THE CHIEFS

The home side win their lineout despite Harry Wells making a nuisance of himself in the air, but more great line speed breaks the Exeter attack in two and draws another penalty on the floor.

Ford drills the ball to the corner.

15

LINE SPEED FROM LEICESTER

Tigers draw another handling error from Exeter with some impressive line speed in the Tigers 22 ... and win the free kick at the scrum. Neat.

12

PRESSING ON

Ben Youngs wraps up his man in defence, so Exeter decide to take the aerial route through full-back Stuart Hogg.

FIRST POINTS TO TIGERS

But it's well within Ford's range. Tigers now lead, three points to nil.

10

SHOT AT GOAL

Fly-half Ford points to the posts for an attempt at the first points in this game. Looks a lot further on TV, doesn't it?!

9

TO THE TOP

Tom Youngs finds Harry Wells at the lineout, and the men in fluoro-red are back on the right side of the pitch.

The right side being the left side. If you're watching on TV, like us. So ... the correct side.

8

DEFENSIVE MODE

Exeter drill through the phases for the first time in this game as they sniff around the Tigers 22 ... but there's a great intervention from Tommy Reffell and Jaco Taute as they get over the ball and win a penalty. Nice one.

5

SCRUM DOWN!

Jordan Taufua scoops the ball from under his feet at the back of the scrum but is tangled by Chiefs scrum-half Maunder.

Posession comes out to the centre of the field, but referee Tom Foley blows for offside and Exeter have the ball for the first time in this match.

3

TO THE BACKS

The Tigers forward pack collectively get their heads down and nudge up to the Exeter line, before George Ford links up with full-back Worth for a final surge up to the whitewash.

Exeter give away another penalty, so we'll restart with a five-metre scrum.

1

EARLY ACTION

George Worth fields an early kick from Exeter, and the home side give away a penalty on the floor.

Ben Youngs taps and goes early and gets Tigers some great ground on the right-hand side.

KICK OFF FROM SANDY PARK

The wait is over! George Ford gets us going in Round 14 of the Gallagher Premiership.

-1

RUGBY AGAINST RACISM

Ahead of this match, the club would like to show our solidarity for equality in our sport under the banner of Rugby Against Racism.

A message from director of rugby Geordan Murphy: “We are honoured and proud to represent Leicester and each of the many cultures our diverse city is blessed with.

“The club has never and will never tolerate any form of racism or prejudice in our sport or our community.

“A statement, a pre-game acknowledgment is also just a small part of what we must do as members of the rugby and Leicester community to educate people on why it is not acceptable.

“This is about our game coming together and saying racism will not be accepted, in any form.”

-5

FIVE MINUTES TO GO

Not long left to wait! Just five. More. Minutes.

-15

TEAM TALK | TIGERS AT EXETER

Challenges don’t come much bigger than a trip to table-toppers Exeter Chiefs in your first game in charge. But new head coach Steve Borthwick remains – as ever – realistic about what’s to come this afternoon.

“They’re a very, very good side and have been a contender at the top of the table for a long time now,” he said.

“What we know is that we have got to go there and put out the best performance we possibly can. That’s what we have been working towards, focusing very much on ourselves and developing our game.

“We know we have got a lot of work to do and we know that process is going to continue. But, we have started on a path and we will continue on that path.”

Watch the full Team Talk on LTTV, right here.

-20

CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS

Four players are in line to make their Tigers debuts this afternoon.

Matt Scott lines up at inside centre, with Tigers Academy graduate David Williams earning a debut first-team appearance on the wing. Luke Wallace and Zack Henry are named among the replacements in head coach Steve Borthwick’s first matchday squad.

Club captain Tom Youngs will lead the side from the front row, with George Ford named vice-captain.

Head coach Steve Borthwick explained: “I think it’s an exciting team. I think what is pleasing to see is how many academy graduates are part of this matchday squad.

“They know Leicester, they love representing Leicester and I think that is something that has come across very strong to me; how much these players want to make our supporters very proud of this team.”

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

-25

MATCH PREVIEW | TIGERS SET TO GO AGAIN

After more than five months, we’re finally ready for some rugby.

You don’t need us to remind you of the reasons for a pause in the season – but all you need to know is that it’s a very different Leicester side ready to take on Exeter Chiefs than faced Saracens last time out.

Under new head coach Steve Borthwick, this new-look Tigers team includes 13 home-grown players from the Tigers Academy system in the matchday squad.

And Scotland international Matt Scott – who makes his Tigers debut this afternoon – shared the message given to the players ahead of the return to rugby.

“Steve has made it very clear we are going to be tough and hardworking, we are going to represent the people we are playing for,” he said. “Leicester is a working-class place and the people expect their teams to give their all, and that is the over-riding thing.”

See all the important facts and stats in our full match preview here, or scroll down on this page.

WELCOME TO MATCHDAY LIVE!

Rugby is BACK! We’re LIVE for Round 14 of the Gallagher Premiership, as Leicester Tigers take on Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park (2.00pm) after 161 days without a game.

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
Stuart Hogg
14
Tom O'Flaherty
13
Henry Slade
12
Ollie Devoto
11
Olly Woodburn
10
Joe Simmonds
9
Jack Maunder
1
Alec Hepburn
2
Luke Cowan-Dickie
3
Harry Williams
4
Jonny Gray
5
Jonny Hill
6
Dave Ewers
7
Jannes Kirsten
8
Sam Simmonds

Subs

16
Jack Yeandle
17
Ben Moon
18
Tomas Francis
19
Sam Skinner
20
Don Armand
21
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
22
Gareth Steenson
23
Ian Whitten

Preview | Tigers set to go again at Exeter

After five months without a game, Leicester Tigers resume with a trip to Gallagher Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs on Saturday for the first time under new head coach Steve Borthwick.

This fixture was originally scheduled to be played on March 21, but the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic with nine rounds still to play.

Rugby finally returns this weekend in Round 14 of a campaign which will now climax in October. Fixtures are currently being played behind closed doors with special measures in place for players and officials to mitigate risk of spreading the infection.

In team news announced on Friday, Tigers include four newcomers in the matchday squad, with Matt Scott and on-loan David Williams in the starting line-up and Zack Henry joining Luke Wallace among the replacements. Club captain Tom Youngs makes his 150th starting appearance for the club.

Ahead of his debut following a summer move from Edinburgh, Scotland international centre Scott said: “As soon as Tigers contacted me, I jumped at the chance. I loved the vision Geordan and Steve put forward to me.

“Steve has made it very clear we are going to be tough and hardworking, we are going to represent the people we are playing for. Leicester is a working-class place and the people expect their teams to give their all, and that is the over-riding thing.”

Scott says a spell with Gloucester earlier in his career can help as he makes the adjustment back to Premiership rugby.

“There is always a bit of apprehension in going to new places, playing new teams,” he said. “So to have already played all the teams, I have that familiarity with the grounds and that can only be a good thing.”

Tigers include 13 graduates of the club’s academy system in the matchday squad.

Exeter ended the opening phase of the season five points cleat at the top of the table, though Sale Sharks trimmed that by one point in their 16-10 defeat at Harlequins on Friday evening, and they resume after a 57-20 victory over Bath in their last fixture before lockdown.

Previewing the visit of Tigers, director of rugby Rob Baxter said: “Geordy Murphy is still there and Steve Borthwick knows what the strengths and weaknesses of Leicester have been over a number of years. I don’t think in that sense they will change too much.

“The one thing that might make Leicester different to others sides is that we simply don’t know if they are looking more long-term and that this period will be used as part of a bigger, rebuilding and change process.

“All we can do is prepare ourselves as best we can and look at what we know have been the threats of Leicester in the past, as well as prepare ourselves to be as good as we can when we have the ball and influence what we can bring to the game.”

The Chiefs make eight changes to the line-up from that win over Bath in Round 13 with Scotland international Jonny Gray given a debut in the second row. Wales prop Tomas Francis is named in the 23 for the first time since damaging a shoulder in the World Cup defeat by South Africa back in October 2019.

Overall the two clubs have met on 61 previous occasions dating back to 1899 with Leicester winning 38 to 19 by the Chiefs and four games drawn.

Exeter have won the last four Premiership meetings, with Ben Youngs and Anthony Allen the tryscorers in Tigers’ most recent victory at Sandy Park, in 2014/15.

Sale Sharks and Harlequins are the only two visiting teams with Premiership victories at Sandy Park so far this season.

Match referee is Tom Foley, who takes charge of a Premiership fixture for the 77th time. He will be assisted by Greg Macdonald and Jonathan Healy.

Tigers will wear the club’s 2019/20 fluoro-red alternate kit on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 2.00pm. There is live coverage on BT Sport 1 and Channel 5.

Supporters are reminded to stay away from Sandy Park as the game will be played behind closed doors.

You can also keep up to date throughout the day with the club’s Matchday Live service on the Tigers website and app, or with the club’s social media channels.

Team news | New Look Leicester Tigers side for Prem return

Steve Borthwick has included four of the club’s recent additions in his debut Leicester Tigers matchday squad to travel to take on Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park in Round 14 of the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season on Saturday.

The Tigers head coach has named an all-international front-row of Ellis Genge, Tom Youngs and Dan Cole to take on the Chiefs.

Youngs, in his 150th start and 190th appearance for the club, will captain the side from hooker.

In the second row, Argentina international Tomás Lavanini is partnered by Calum Green, with Harry Wells included at blindside flanker.

Tommy Reffell, who recently re-signed with Tigers, starts at openside and Jordan Taufua completes the Leicester pack at No8.

England internationals Ben Youngs and George Ford are the half-backs, with fly-half Ford named vice-captain for the trip to Sandy Park.

Scotland international Matt Scott will make his Tigers debut after his move from Edinburgh and is partnered in the midfield by South Africa international Jaco Taute.

David Williams, on loan from Championship club Nottingham Rugby, is included on the wing and will make his senior debut for the club.

The 24-year-old graduated from the Tigers Academy in 2014 and has previously represented Leicester in the ‘A’ League and Premierships Sevens.

Fellow Academy graduates Jordan Olowofela and George Worth make up the back three.

New recruits Luke Wallace and Zack Henry are in line for their club debuts after being named among the replacements, with 20-year-old back-rower Thom Smith facing a Premiership debut after two previous appearances in the Cup.

Internationals Jake Kerr and Nephi Leatigaga are joined on the bench by Joe Heyes as front-row replacements, with Hanro Liebenberg and Ben White also included. 

Speaking ahead of the trip to Exeter, Borthwick said: “Everybody is excited by this opportunity to get back on the field tomorrow.

“They’re a very, very good side and have been a contender at the top of the table for a long time now.

“We have got to go there and put out the best performance we possibly can.

“That’s what we have been working towards, focusing very much on ourselves and developing our game.”

Discussing his debut side, the Tigers head coach added: “I think it’s an exciting team. I think what is pleasing to see is how many academy graduates are part of this matchday squad.

“They know Leicester, they love representing Leicester and I think that is something that has come across very strong to me; how much these players want to make our supporters very proud of this team.”

MATCH DETAILS:

Exeter Chiefs v Leicester Tigers
Saturday, August 15
Kick-off: 2.00pm
Round 14, Gallagher Premiership 2019/20

STARTING XV:

15 George Worth

14 David Williams

13 Jaco Taute

12 Matt Scott

11 Jordan Olowofela

10 George Ford (vc)

9 Ben Youngs

1 Ellis Genge

2 Tom Youngs (c)

3 Dan Cole

4 Tomás Lavanini

5 Calum Green

6 Harry Wells

7 Tommy Reffell

8 Jordan Taufua

REPLACEMENTS:

16 Jake Kerr

17 Nephi Leatigaga

18 Joe Heyes

19 Hanro Liebenberg

20 Luke Wallace

21 Thom Smith

22 Ben White

23 Zack Henry

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tom O’Flaherty, 13 Henry Slade,12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds (c), 9 Jack Maunder; 1 Alec Hepburn,2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3 Harry Williams, 4 Jonny Gray, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Dave Ewers, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 8 Sam Simmonds

Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Don Armand, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Ian Whitten

 

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Exeter Chiefs
Exeter ChiefsEXE22150763044318783569574
11
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI226115374609-23535791229
Form Guide
Form
LWWLL
Last Match
Lost to Wasps 5-46
Past Meeting
Won 26-13
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WDLLL
Last Match
Lost to Harlequins 26-32
Past Meeting
Lost 13-26

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