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Match report | Tigers get off the mark

Leicester Tigers earned a first win of the season with a 16-13 verdict against previously unbeaten Gloucester Rugby at Welford Road on Saturday thanks to a late penalty from Tom Hardwick.

After watching five Tigers players in action during the World Cup Final in the morning, the home crowd saw their team 10-6 in front at half-time against unbeaten Gloucester thanks to Noel Reid’s first try for the club.

Tigers had dominated the game but Gloucester, without a win at Welford Road since October 2007, made their first really opportunity count as they edged in front with a Joe Simpson try on 50 minutes and they looked like they would take the points until Hardwick kicked Tigers level on 67 minutes and then added the decisive blow with the clock into the final minute of the Gallagher Premiership Round 3 fixture.

The win tied the scores in the overall series between the clubs on 108-108 in meetings dating back well over a century.

Tigers included Telusa Veainu and Sione Kalamafoni for their first starts of the season after World Cup duty and gave new signing Tomás Lavanini a debut from the bench.

Veainu was straight into the action, claiming high ball and then finding support from Jordan Olowofela in attack. As Tigers recycled ball, Noel Reid took a late blow from Slater and, after review, the Gloucester skipper was yellow-carded for the contact with the shoulder. The game was just two minutes old as Hardwick kicked the three-pointer with Slater headed for the dugout.

Heavy rain arrived almost on kick-off which made handling tricky, but Gloucester got through a set of phases before earning a penalty and Billy Twelvetrees kicked his team level from the tee.

Tigers made a big statement with a lineout drive which took them 20 metres upfield but they were whistled to a halt for taking out a player beyond the contact area.

Slater did not make it back on to field at the end of the sin-bin period as he’d been having treatment for a foot injury during his time out and Freddie Clarke took his place.

A smart kick from Sam Harrison, mopping up Gloucester’s attacking ball, pushed Tigers 60 metres further upfield and there was more pressure on the visitors’ ball as Harry Wells charged down a clearing kick from Joe Simpson and Tigers kept them pinned back.

Two strong carries from Kalamafoni – one which catapulted Marshall backwards was greeted with huge appreciation from the home crowd – gave Tigers room to advance again and, when Tom Youngs took play on, referee Ian Tempest brought play back for a high tackle on the hooker.

Tigers went to the corner on the right, throwing in seven metres from the tryline. A good set-piece was followed by half a dozen efficient phases before Reid called for the ball and sidestepped his way over the line for his first Tigers score. Hardwick added the conversion to make it 10-3 on 24 minutes.

The Tigers pack edged forward and won a scrum penalty with rain falling even harder, and then set up a golden chance with another big drive from the lineout.

This time, they created space for Olowofela to scorch through on a diagonal line and, when Marshall met him with a tackle less than 10 metres from the line, his one-handed pass just evaded Veainu with the tryline beckoning.

Veainu also took a blow in the face as he tried to retrieve ball and required attention to a bloody nose. Adam Thompstone was called from the bench as a temporary replacement, with Jonah Holmes going to full-back.

The rain eased off finally on the half-hour though a knock-on gave Gloucester a scrum which ended in a penalty award and Twelvetrees landed the kick to bring it back to 10-6.

There was little wrong with the handling as Olowofela and Liebenberg combined on the left touchline or when Calum Green stole valuable lineout ball, but Gloucester grabbed loose ball to kick back up to halfway in the final action of the opening period.

Gloucester made a change at the interval with Cipriani replaced by Chris Harris, and they claimed the first points when Marshall and Ollie Thorley combined on the left flanker and scrum-half Simpson raced in to score. Twelvetrees added the kick with Gloucester 13-10 in front on 50 minutes.

Joe Heyes replaced Nephi Leatigaga as the game got under way again, and was quickly into scrum action after Twelvetrees over-cooked a clearing kick and play came back well into his own half for the set-piece.

Marshall was well policed by Andy Forsyth as he tried to break out and, when Tigers took a quick throw, Olowofela almost wriggled free of the last defender on the right touchline but couldn’t find the supporting runner.

Tigers got the unexpected gift of put-in at a scrum when Marshall made a mess of a drop-out on his own 22, and it almost brought reward as the set-piece set up charges to the line for the forwards, with Boladau prominent, before Liebenberg was held up just as he looked to score.

Lavanini made his Tigers debut on 65 minutes at a five-metre scrum, with Facundo Gigena and Tatafu Polota-Nau also entering the action.

Gloucester were penalised under pressure at the scrum and Hardwick kicked the scores level with 13 minutes remaining.

A combined Kalamafoni-Lavanini tackle on Lewis Ludlow forced a knock-on just inside the Gloucester half but the Leicester No8 needed treatment on a shoulder before the game restarted.   

Tigers continued to make their tackles and hit rucks, but referee Tempest penalised Liebenberg as he stepped over a ruck near halfway and Twelvetrees took on the kick but was just off-target with a potential match-winner.

Tigers got back on the attack with Lavanini carrying twice and then had one final chance at scrum on the 22 which brought a big eight-man shove, a penalty and a huge cheer from the crowd with just a minute left to play.

Hardwick scooped the kick and there was a pause as it floated just inside the right-hand post to give Tigers a 16-13 lead.

The game had to restarts and Tigers forced Gloucester back 50 metres with a succession of big tackles. But then they were penalised just short of the Gloucester 10-metre line with the clock beyond 84 minutes.

They went through phases again and again but met stubborn defence until a knock-on finally brought the game to an end and the crowd to its feet.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 10-6 GLO

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 16-13 GLO

Attendance

17,559

Referee

Ian Tempest

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Gloucester Rugby
Possession
45%
55%
Territory
54%
46%
Penalties Conceded
9
6
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
149/179 83%
135/156 87%
Scrums Won
7/8 88%
5/5 100%
Lineouts Won
9/10 90%
15/18 83%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Gloucester Rugby
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Telusa Veainu
14Jonah Holmes
13Andy Forsyth
12Tom Hardwick1C3P
11Jordan Olowofela
10Noel Reid1T
9Sam Harrison
1Greg Bateman
2Tom Youngs
3Nephi Leatigaga
4Harry Wells
5Calum Green
6Hanro Liebenberg
7Guy Thompson
8Sione Kalamafoni
16Tatafu Polota-Nau
17Facundo Gigena
18Joe Heyes
19Tomas Lavanini
20Ifereimi Boladau
21Ben White
22George Worth
23Adam Thompstone
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
16

Full Time

Gloucester Rugby
Gloucester Rugby
13
Leicester Tigers
P
T
C
P
P
KOHTFT
Gloucester Rugby
P
P
T
C

Commentary

80

ON YOUR FEET, WELFORD ROAD!

That's just how we like it - a bouncing Welford Road.

Thank you for all your support this afternoon, whether you were one of the 17,559 at the ground, or following from elsewhere.

We'll see you back at Welford Road for Tigers' European Challenge Cup clash with Pau on Saturday, November 16 (3.00pm).

FULL TIME | 16-13

Tigers hold strong as the game goes deep into added time at Welford Road, to claim all four points from this Premiership encounter.

80

...IT IS NOW!

There's a HUGE roar from the crowd as Tigers win the ball on the floor, and that's the game.

80

TENSE TIMES

Tigers almost - almost - win the ball back on the floor, but it just about remains in Gloucester posession.

WHITE FOR HARRISON

Ben White is onto the field in place of LeoVegas Fans' Favourite, scrum-half Sam Harrison.

80

THEY THINK IT'S ALL OVER...

Following phase after phase of Gloucester possession, Telusa Veainu comes out of the ruck with the ball, and fires it westwards...but we'll come back for a penalty...

80

INTO THE RED

Gloucester claim their restart, and are throwing everything at the Leicester line with the clock now in the red.

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

Hardwick's last-minute penalty sails through the posts to nudge Tigers ahead. Play will restart.

79

HEEEAVE!

...that scrum certainly is, though. The push is on and Tigers have a shot at goal with the last kick of the game.

78

IN AT THE SIDE!

Tigers win a scrum on the Gloucester 22 after the visitors come in at the side of a ruck, though it's not the penalty kick Leicester would have wanted...

76

GREEN DOWNS THORLEY

End-to-end (or at least, half-to-half) stuff as Veainu and Holmes combine to put the ball back into Gloucester's territory, but Ollie Thorley picks up and makes a break of his own.

The new Leicester captain is having none of it, and Calum Green sits his man down in front of the Breedon Terrace.

75

KICK MISSED

...and it's low and wide! A real let off for Tigers, there.

74

PENALTY AWARDED

A controversial call, there - and the crowd don't like it.

Tigers are pinged just beyond halfway for offside, and Twelvetrees steps up to take it...

72

RESET SCRUMS

Boris Stankovich casts a keen eye over three reset scrums in front of the dugouts, and Gloucester clamber onto the ball as it goes straight through the tunnel.

70

KALAMAFONI ON HIS FEET

The Tigers No8 regathers himself after that big tackle, but he's back into the action as he anchors the Leicester scrum.

69

BIG HIT

Lavanini makes his presence known to the Gloucester attackers with a big whack on his man in partnership with Sione Kalamafoni, right in front of the dugouts.

The Welford Road faithful enjoyed that one...

THREE MORE CHANGES

Gloucester empty the bench as Lewis Ludlow (for Ben Morgan), Jason Woodward (for Matt Banahan) and Callum Braley (for Joe Simpson) all sprint onto the field.

68

DECENT RESTART

Harrison defuses the restart with a great touchfinder on the right, and Gloucester will have the throw on halfway.

HARDWICK PENALTY

Tom Hardwick ties the scores with a three-pointer from the tee.

65

SCRUM COLLAPSE

The scrum collapses on the Gloucester side, and Tigers initially bring the ball out for a free play on the right. They can't quite make it count, so Hardwick comes back for a shot at goal.

LAVANINI JOINS THE FRAY

Tomás Lavanini is onto the field for his Tigers debut, joining Facundo Gigena and Tatafu Polota-Nau as they replace Wells, Bateman and Youngs.

All three will be involved in this pushing contest with their first play...

FRONT ROW CHANGES

Val Rapava Ruskin and Jamal Ford-Robinson are both onto the field as Gloucester change both of their props.

63

BIG LEG DRIVE

Tigers come out on top at the reset scrum, and edge closer to the tryline, carry by carry.

The fans in The Robin Hood Stand think the ball is down over the line, but we'll come back for another scrum.

62

ARM OUT

The Leicester pack roar as they push Gloucester over their 22, but we'll go for a reset rather than a scrum penalty.

61

ANOTHER ONE?!

We've lost count of the number of charge downs - from both sides - in this contest. Tigers get a hand to Twelvetrees' latest kick, to pin Gloucester back into their own half.

They successfully escape a couple of phases later, and Veainu's return kick rolls over the tryline ... but the visitors mess up their 22 restart and Tigers have a put in at the scrum!

59

LOST BIND

Bateman is pinged at the second scrum for losing his bind, and Twelvetrees makes no mistake with the touchfinder this time around. Gloucester restart with a throw on halfway.

WORTH FOR REID

Tigers try-scorer Noel Reid is replaced by George Worth, and Tom Hardwick will shift to fly-half permanently, with the Tigers Academy graduate swapping first-receiver duties with the Irishman all afternoon.

57

RED ZONE

Tigers restart with another big shove at the scrum, deep into enemy territory, but Gloucester win a turnover in front of their posts.

BACK-ROW CHANGE

Ifereimi Boladau replaces Guy Thompson in the Tigers pack.

55

QUICK THROW!

Olowofela looks to keep the pace in the game as he claims a quick throw in and breaks down the right to win a lineout in the opposition 22.

53

MOMENTUM SHIFT

Holmes scrambles onto a loose pass and breaks up the field - he kicks downfield and the ball rolls into touch.

Gloucester look to gain the upper hand back from the restart, but moments later a Twelvetrees kick rolls dead, and Tigers ahve the momentum back.

51

ON THE LOOP

This time it's Matt Banahan's turn to burst forwards, with another run down the same left-hand channel.

AND THE EXTRAS

Twelvetrees' conversion puts the visitors in the lead for the first time in this game.

PROP SWAP

Joe Heyes takes Nephi Leatigaga's place at tighthead for Leicester.

SIMPSON THROUGH

D'oh. Joe Simpson cuts through on the left to notch up Gloucester's first try of the match.

47

MISSED TOUCH

Gloucester win a penalty on halfway, but Twelvetrees misses his mark and Holmes bats the ball back into play, with his feet off the ground. Strong.

44

REID NUDGES IT THROUGH

Tigers string together some fluid phases, built around another lung-busting carry from prop Greg Bateman, and Reid switches up the tempo with another neat nudge through the Cherry and Whites line.

He can't quite pick up his kick, but it's a nice idea in the right area of the field.

43

HOLMES HURTLES FORWARDS

Sam Harrison puts in a giant box kick for his backs to compete with, and Holmes finds it first with a brilliant take on the right-hand side of the field.

HALF-TIME CHANGE

Gloucester have made a change at half time, with Danny Cipriani replaced with Chris Harris for his club debut. There will be a bit of a shuffle in the backs.

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY

Noel Reid gets us going after the half-time break at Welford Road.

40

BIG BARRY

Tigers lock Harry 'Barry' Wells has been front and centre in a big first-half performance. We wait and see what the second half holds...

Come on, Tigers!
 

DPW_1266.JPG

HALF TIME | 10-6

...and that's half time. Tigers lead at the break through a Noel Reid try and Tom Hardwick penalty.

VEAINU RETURNS

Veainu returns to the field, and Thompstone takes a place in the home dugout once more.

39

LINEOUT STOLEN

Tigers steal the lineout and it falls neatly into Nephi Leatigaga's hands. Leicester still in control of this contest as we head towards half time.

38

CHIP AND CHASE

Tigers chip and chase down the left-hand side through - believe it or not - back-rower Hanro Liebenberg.

Neat work from Tigers' big South African summer signing!

FROM THREE TO SIX

Twelvetrees lands a Gloucester penalty, but Tigers still lead 10 points to six.

35

SCRUM DOWN ... AND AROUND

Gloucester manage to win a penalty at the scrum as the Tigers pack are charged with wheeling, and Twelvetrees will have another pop at the posts.

33

ANOTHER ERROR

The visitors once again double down on their error, and put in a kick that bobbles over the Tigers try line. Holmes allows it to run on and he dots down for the 22 restart.

32

ANOTHER CHARGE DOWN

This time it's Guy Thompson's turn to charge down a Gloucester kick, and outside centre Andy Forsyth races after the loose ball. The visitors just about manage to clear up, but it's more great territory for Geordan Murphy's men.

31

IN THE AIR

Olowofela knocks on in the air as Gloucester restart, and so we'll scrum down on the halfway line with just over half an hour gone.

30

GLOUCESTER BREAK OUT

The Cherry and Whites some how break out of the corner, but it's only temporary respite as Jonah Holmes races back down the left.

The Wales international chips, chases and claims his kick, but gives away a soft penalty to relieve the pressure on Gloucester's line.

BLOOD REPLACEMENT

Telusa Veainu is caught awkwardly by Jake Polledri in all of that excitement, and he's temporarily replaced by Adam Thompstone.

28

OLOWOFELA BREAKS THROUGH

The crowd are onto their feet as Jordan Olowofela speeds through the middle of the Gloucester line and pins his ears back as he aims for the right-hand corner.

Gloucester's final defender just about gets to the young wing, so he feeds Veainu with a no-look pass which just goes awry.

26

CATS AND DOGS

...the rain is getting pretty heavy here at Welford Road as Harrison feeds into the scrum.

Tigers get the nudge on and ... Tom Foley's arm goes up on Leicester's side. Cue, cheers and applause.

25

GLOUCESTER HIT BACK

Gloucester get some shots away as they claim their restart on the edge of the Tigers 22, but after a couple of strong phases they knock on and the home side will have the feed at the game's first scrum.

CONVERSION ADDED

Hardwick notches the conversion to put Leicester into a seven-point lead.

REID DIVES OVER

Tigers slowly but surely push up to the line with some huge carries, and it's fly-half Reid who dives over for the game's first try.

21

INTO THE CORNER

Gloucester double-down with another penalty, this time for a high tackle from Gerbrandt Grobler, and Hardwick once again does to the corner.

Harry Wells claims the lineout...

19

'UNUSUAL' TACKLE TECHNIQUE

How do you stop a man like Sione Kalamafoni?

Replays show that Tom Marshall's tried it with a jump into the tackle immediately in front of the Breedon Terrace, but it's not picked up by the officials.

Foley penalises the full-back for not rolling away, and Hardwick punishes the error with another strong touch-finder.

17

BACK INTO TRAFFIC

The Tigers pack set up another strong maul on the far side, and just as it starts to grind to a halt - a good 10 metres from where it started - Harrison whips the ball out to his backs.

Hardwick feeds Reid, who finds Olowofela on the right wing, but he's bundled into touch.

15

CHARGE DOWN!

Gloucester struggling to make it out of their quarter of the field, and a charge down from Harry Wells certainly won't help their cause - but it's raised the voices of the Welford Road crowd.

Tigers now pressing into the red zone, with Noel Reid putting in a speculative kick through the line on the left-hand side.

13

MORE GOOD TERRITORY

Tigers win a lineout inside their own half, and put boot to ball via Harrison to grab brilliant territory down the other end of the field.

SLATER STAYS OFF

Ed Slater's yellow card is done and dusted, but he won't be returning to the field. He's replaced by Freddie Clarke in the Gloucester second row.

12

15 ON 15

Veainu puts up a real tester for Marshall, who plucks the ball out of the air just as he is tackled by the Tongan international. Nice.

8

HARDWICK HIGH BALL

Sam Harrison gets Tigers firing with some quick ball from the base at each ruck on halfway, but the home side can't quite find a way through this time, so Hardwick opts for a high bomb to the right.

Gloucester full-back Tom Marshall does extremely well to take it and call the mark in his 22.

DECENT NUDGE

An unconventional strike on the ball, but Twelvetrees evens up the scores with a Gloucester penalty.

5

PENALTY ADVANTAGE

Gloucester put together their first real phases of the game, and it's Nephi Leatigaga's arm that rides up a little high on the Cherry and Whites attacker. Billy Twelvetrees opts for the posts.

4

SECOND TIME LUCKY

Sam Harrison's first attempt at a box kick from his 22 is charged down by a strong Gloucester hand, but his forwards re-gather and he boots the second attempt into the Breedon Terrace for a decent chunk of territory.

EARLY POINTS

...and it's good. Tigers are three points up within three minutes.

RECKLESS CHALLENGE

Referee Ian Tempest has no option but to show the former Tigers lock a yellow card for that challenge. Tom Hardwick steps up to the tee...

2

THE LOCALS ARE RESTLESS...

Big gasps from the Welford Road faithful as replays of a no-arms tackle are shown on the big screen. It's Gloucester captain Ed Slater on Tigers 10 Noel Reid, and TMO Trevor Fisher suggests a yellow card.

1

VEAINU UP TO SPEED

Returning full-back Telusa Veainu is involved from the off, scooping up a Gloucester bomb and breaking down the left wing. Tigers into the opposition 22 early on, here.

KICK-OFF FROM WELFORD ROAD

Danny Cipriani gets proceedings underway for Gloucester in Round 3 of the Gallagher Premiership.

0

SMOKE ON THE WATER!

The heavens have opened as the teams take to the field, to a roar from the Tigers Family. This is going to be a wet one...

0

MOMENTS TO GO

The Guard of Honour is onto the pitch, which can only mean one thing ... we're just moments away from kick-off here at Welford Road.

0

BACK IN THE SHEDS

The visitors are first back into the dressing rooms after completing their final preparations on the Welford Road pitch. The Tigers side are running through some last-minute drills in front of the Mattioli Woods Stand.

0

CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS

Head coach Geordan Murphy makes a raft of changes to the side that ran out at Welford Road last weekend for this afternoon’s match.

Rugby World Cup trio Telusa Veainu, Sione Kalamafoni and new signing Tomás Lavanini are all included in the matchday squad, with club captain Tom Youngs, Nephi Leatigaga and Harry Wells all coming into the starting pack.

Tom Hardwick and Andy Forsyth form a new-look centre pairing, while Jordan Olowofela and Sam Harrison start on the left wing and at scrum-half respectively.

Former Tigers lock Ed Slater captains the Gloucester side, which also includes Billy Twelvetrees and Fraser Balmain. Tigers Academy graduate Jamal Ford-Robinson is among the replacements, and Danny Cipriani fills the No10 shirt on his 32nd birthday.

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

0

LIEBENBERG LOOKS AHEAD TO GLOUCESTER CHALLENGE

Kalamafoni’s back row colleague Hanro Liebenberg says the focus at Oval Park has been on righting the wrongs of last weekend’s defeat to Saracens.

“We’ve been focusing on our set piece as well as getting to our attacking shape,” he told LTTV at the club’s training base.

“Last week, we lost a bit of shape getting on the front foot. We couldn't get out of our exit zones, we managed that quite poorly.

“This weekend, we need to manage that a bit better ... building pressure when we get into their attacking zones.

“We will be on our game and give them what they deserve.”

Catch more of the South African back-rower’s Round 3 preview on LTTV here.

0

KALAMAFONI PREVIEWS ‘BIG AND PHYSICAL’ BATTLE

Tigers No8 Sione Kalamafoni – who returns to the starting XV after a first run off the bench of his Leicester career last weekend – knows the challenge posed by Gloucester better than most.

The Tonga international spent five years at the Cherry and Whites before a switch to Welford Road in 2017.

“We know Gloucester are a good side – forwards and backs – and they’re not a side that we can take lightly,” the 31-year-old explained.

“They’re big and physical and they can attack really well. We’ve taken a good look at ourselves, and we’ve gone from there.

“As a back-rower, you expect to carry the ball a bit more to get the boys onto the front foot, so hopefully I’ll do that and help out the team in every aspect of the game.”

Read Kalamafoni’s full preview of this afternoon’s game here.

0

ROUND 3 PREVIEW

Gloucester are one of just two sides unbeaten over the opening rounds of this season’s Gallagher Premiership.

After an impressive win away to Sale Sharks on the opening weekend, they beat Wasps at a rain-lashed Kingsholm last time out. They travel to Welford Road looking for a first away victory over Tigers since October 2007.

The last five league meetings between these two teams have been won by the home side on the day, with England stars Jonny May and George Ford among the try-scorers in the victory at Welford Road last season.

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

0

WELCOME TO MATCHDAY LIVE!

Welcome to Welford Road as Tigers take on Gloucester Rugby in Round 3 of the Gallagher Premiership, with kick-off to come at 3.00pm.

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
Tom Marshall
14
Matt Banahan
13
Billy Twelvetrees
12
Mark Atkinson
11
Ollie Thorley
10
Danny Cipriani
9
Joe Simpson
1
Josh Hohneck
2
Franco Marais
3
Fraser Balmain
4
Ed Slater
5
Gerbrandt Grobler
6
Ruan Ackermann
7
Jake Polledri
8
Ben Morgan

Subs

16
Corne Fourie
17
Val Rapava Ruskin
18
Jamal Ford-Robinson
19
Freddie Clarke
20
Lewis Ludlow
21
Callum Braley
22
Chris Harris
23
Jason Woodward

Match preview | Tigers against Gloucester

Leicester Tigers and Gloucester Rugby meet at Welford Road on Saturday with just one win separating their overall records in more than 220 contests over more than a century of rivalry.

Gloucester are among Tigers’ oldest opponents with 223 previous meetings dating back to the late 19th century and Saturday’s visitors are just ahead on win count in that time, 108-107, with eight games ending in a draw.

Last season’s encounter at Welford Road ended in a 34-16 triumph for the Tigers with current World Cup colleagues Jonny May and George Ford among the tryscorers.

Gloucester are one of only two sides unbeaten during the opening two rounds of the new Gallagher Premiership season, beating Sale Sharks 18-16 on the opening weekend and then Wasps (25-9) at a rain-lashed Kingsholm last Saturday.

The last five league meetings have been won by the home side on the day, while Gloucester’s most recent victory at Welford Road was in October 2007, which was also the last time they ended the season on top of the Premiership table.

Previewing this weekend’s Round 3 fixture, Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “Gloucester have started well, they mix their game really well and they’ll come here with a fully-loaded team.

“We played well in Cup games but we’ve not been good enough in the last two weeks. Having said that, we’ve been in the battle to take something out of both games.

“Worcester kicked a few penalties in the end and we missed a few opportunities, then against Saracens we stayed in it, we had some opportunities and at the death we dropped the ball over the tryline that could have given us a bonus point.”

In team news released on Friday, Tigers include World Cup trio Telusa Veainu, Sione Kalamafoni and new signing Tomás Lavanini, while captain Tom Youngs returns from injury and Tatafu Polota-Nau is back in the squad following a three-match ban.

Gloucester name Ed Slater as captain in a team which includes fellow former Tigers players Billy Twelvetrees and Fraser Balmain. Tigers Academy graduate Jamal Ford-Robinson is among the replacements but fly-half Owen Williams is ruled out by injury.

Cherry and Whites coach Johan Ackermann said: “The biggest mistake we could make is to underestimate Leicester by how they’ve started the season. They were in the contest all the way against Saracens, there was not that much in it. They’re a tough side, they’ve got a great set-piece, good scrum, good maul, good pack of forwards.

“We haven’t won there for a long time which shows you what a tough place it is. But we are building a new legacy and want to change things around.”

Referee on Sunday is Ian Tempest, in his 62nd Premiership fixture in charge.

Match tickets are available now at the Tigers ticket office. Book in person from 9.00am on Saturday, 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 Gloucester

Figure image

Rugby World Cup trio Telusa Veainu, Sione Kalamafoni and new signing Tomás Lavanini are all included in the Leicester Tigers squad for Saturday’s home game against Gloucester Rugby in the third round of the Gallagher Premiership season.

Kalamafoni was the first player to return to club duty from the World Cup when he was used as a second-half replacement against Saracens last weekend and is now restored to the Tigers back row.

Veainu makes his first appearance of the season after his return from international duty with Tonga while Argentina second row Lavanini will make his debut from the bench.

Club captain Tom Youngs returns in the front row where Nephi Leatigaga starts for the first time in a Tigers shirt. Tommy Reffell and Will Spencer are both ruled out by chest injuries suffered against Saracens as Guy Thompson moves to flanker and Harry Wells steps in at lock.

There are changes in the backline, too, where academy graduates Andy Forsyth, Tom Hardwick and Jordan Olowofela have starting places and Sam Harrison is at scrum-half.

Tatafu Polota-Nau returns from a ban to join Lavanini on the bench where there is also a place for on-loan Ifereimi Boladau.

Head coach Geordan Murphy said: “We picked up a few knocks last week, but we’ve got players putting their hands up to be given an opportunity.

“It’s great to have Telusa and Sione back from the World Cup. You want all of your international players to make an impact and express what they can do.

“Tomás Lavanini has come in this week and we’ve been getting him up to speed in training. He’s a very good player and we wanted him involved as soon as we could.”

Tickets for Saturday are available now at the Tigers ticket office. Book in person, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or book online.

Leicester Tigers (v Gloucester Rugby, Welford Road, Saturday 3.00pm)

15 Telusa Veainu       

14 Jonah Holmes

13 Andy Forsyth

12 Tom Hardwick

11 Jordan Olowofela

10 Noel Reid

9 Sam Harrison

1 Greg Bateman

2 Tom Youngs (c)

3 Nephi Leatigaga

4 Harry Wells

5 Calum Green

6 Hanro Liebenberg

7 Guy Thompson

8 Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements

16 Tatafu Polota-Nau

17 Facundo Gigena

18 Joe Heyes

19 Tomás Lavanini

20 Ifereimi Boladau

21 Ben White

22 George Worth

23 Adam Thompstone

Gloucester Rugby: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Matt Banahan, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Joe Simpson; 1 Josh Hohneck, 2 Franco Marais, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Ed Slater (c), 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Jake Polledri, 8 Ben Morgan
Replacements: 16 Corné Fourie, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Freddie Clarke, 20 Lewis Ludlow, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Chris Harris, 23 Jason Woodward

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
5
Gloucester Rugby
Gloucester RugbyGLO420268626941110
12
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI41035397-44411004
Form Guide
Form
LLLWL
Last Match
Lost to London Irish 11-36
Past Meeting
Won 16-13
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LWWLL
Last Match
Lost to Saracens 12-21
Past Meeting
Lost 13-16

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers16
Leicester Tigers
Gloucester Rugby13
Gloucester Rugby
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