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Match report: Tigers bounce back with victory

Leicester Tigers gained a second win of the season with a 19-15 triumph over Sale Sharks at Welford Road on Sunday.

A try from Marland Yarde have Sharks the lead after just five minutes, but Kyle Eastmond linked with centre partner Gareth Owen to claim his first score for Tigers less than 10 minutes later. They were the only tries of the half as Tiger reached the break 13-5 in front.

It was nip-and-tuck in the second period, though, as George Ford kept Tigers in front despite two more Sharks tries, one coming with the last attack of the game.

After defeat against Worcester Warriors at Welford Road in Round 4, Tigers were looking to bounce back quickly but the Sharks were also desperately seeking points after one with in their opening four games and only one win in Leicester since 2008.

Interim head coach Geordan Murphy brought Kyle Eastmond and Adam Thompstone into the backline in place of the injured Manu Tuilagi and John Holmes, who reverted to the replacements’ bench, while Ben White made his first Premiership start at scrum-half. Ross McMillan was named among the replacements for his first appearance as a Tigers player.

Sharks were forced into a late change with the withdrawal of fly-half AJ MacGinty. Sam James moved into the No10 shirt, with Luke James coming into the backline at centre.

Tigers kicked off and immediately scored a turnover as they snatched back ball from the Sharks catcher. But they were kept on the 10-metre line through a set of phases efore the visitors won a penalty at the breakdown.

And Sharks made the breakthrough with just five minutes played, keeping ball through phases and, after being closed down five metres out on the left, kept the ball alive to create an easy run-in for Yarde in the other corner. Scrum-half Will Cliff’s conversion hit the post but Sharks were 5-0 in front.

Yarde threatened another break om halfway moments later before Guy Thompson took him down by the ankles, but the opening 10 minutes were dominated by the Sharks in possession.

The home crowd had something to get its teeth into on 13 minutes though when carries from David Denton, Mike Williams and Jonny May had the Sharks defence back-pedalling, and Tigers kept their composure in the attacking zone to celebrate as Gareth Owen offloaded for Eastmond to score. Ford added the conversion as Tigers led 7-5.

Quick thinking at a lineout near halfway got Tigers going forward again, and when they set up an attacking lineout on the right, Sharks were penalised, giving Tigers another opportunity. Ford kicked into the corner, Graham Kitchener made the catch and set up the forwards to inch towards the line. But when play reached the centre of the pitch, Tigers lost control and Sharks were handed a penalty five metres from their own line.

Kitchener stole the ensuing lineout inside Sale territory and Tigers stayed there until referee Craig Maxwell-Keys penalised Sale in defence and Ford pointed to the posts. His kick from the 10-metre line sailed through the posts to make it 10-5 with 25 minutes played.

A superb turnover by Thompson inside his own 22 gave Tigers a chance to counter-attack and May took play almost up to halfway, dragging one defender with him for several metres before the covering defence took him down and forced the ball free in contact.

Good pressure in defence from Tigers appeared to be rewarded with a try for May on 29 minutes, but the TMO brought attention back to the turnover won on halfway by Ford and a forward pass to the wing on the left.

Play restarted, though, with a Tigers scrum from the Sharks knock-on  and they tried again before the whistle went again for a Thompson knock-on.

White, in his first Premiership start, was replaced on the half-hour with a leg injury, throwing Ben Youngs back into the action.

Greg Bateman was penalised at the next scrum and Sharks went for goal but Cliff dragged his kick wide.

Tigers looked to capitalise quickly as Thompstone’s kick-chase put pressure on Yarde and won a lineout just 10 metres out, but ball fell loose in the centre of the pitch as the forwards looked to build some pressure.

Ben Curry joined twin brother Tom in the Sharks back row as skipper Jono Ross went off for a head injury assessment just before half-time but, as Sale adjusted, they were penalised at a scrum 20 metres out and Ford knocked over  the three-pointer for a 13-5 lead.

Sharks were called for a forward pass on halfway with the clock entering the last 90 seconds of the opening period but Tigers lost possession at the base and the visitors had to put-in for a second set-piece. Kitchener and Williams then combined in defence to push Sharks back as the whistle brought play to an end at 13-5 in Tigers’ favour.#

Good work at the breakdown from Tom Curry gave Sale a platform for attack at the start of the second half, Cliff putting his kick into the left-hand corner as they pushed \Tigers back. But just as they manufactured a chance under the posts, a knock-on rescued the Tigers rearguard. Tigers were also awarded a free-kick at the scrum and Ford thumped his kick up to halfway.

Referee \Maxwell-Keys took a tumble as Ben Youngs looked to break from a scrum, but Tigers had the penalty and kicked down the right touchline. Sale were whistled again at the lineout and Ford turned down a kick at goal to keep play in the corner.

The decision did not pay off, though, as Sharks wrapped up ball even as they were pushed back.

Tigers looked to have the push on at the resultant scrum too, but the referee thought otherwise and called a penalty in Sale’s favour.

The visitors returned to the Tigers 22 and Ford was penalised fort a high tackle called by the referee’s assistant just five metres out. Sale stayed in the corner and had another penalty when the maul was brought down short of the line. This time, they messed up their lines at the throw and Sione Kalamafoni was able to regain possession.

A clever kick down the right from Eastmond beat the Sharks defence but just evaded Owen, and full-back Byron McGuigan was able to pick up and kick into touch behind his own line.

Tom Curry won another penalty at the breakdown as Thompstone chased back into his own 22, and fron the lineout they claimed a second try from the driving maul, with Rob Webber on the ball.

Cliff missed the kick from left of the posts but the Tigers’ lead was down to three points at 13-10.

When Sale were penalised at a tackle near halfway, Ford judged his kick into the left-hand corner to perfection, but Tigers failed to gather at the set-piece and Cliff cleared his lines. The kick only reached 10 metres from his own line, but again Sharks managed to disrupt the lineout.

Tigers stayed in enemy territory, though, with Eastmond trying to feed the outside backs, but Sharks were penalised in front of the posts and Ford had an easy chance to make it 16-10.

Valentino Mapapalangi made his seasonal debut as a replacement for the hard-weorking Denton as the game reached its final 20 minutes.

Sharks threatened a vital score as they retained possession close-in, before being penalised in possession just under the posts with Thompson and Mapapalangi on top of the ball.

Joe Heyes and Harry Wells emerged as late replacements for Cole and Kitchener, but Tigers were again victims of the referee’s whistle in contact near halfway. Thankfully, they missed touch with the penalty and Ford kicked clear.

But it was a nervy spell and Tigers were thankful for Ford’s work in defence, ripping ball from McGuigan, and then from Kalalmafoni with a bit hit on Yarde.

Thompson then got on to the ball in the tackle zone on halfway to earn another penalty to the back-row. The offence was just inside his own half but Ford called for the tee and aced the kick the finally provide some breathing room at 19-10 with four minutes remaining.

Sharks threatened in the right-hand corner and were playing with advantage when Sam James put in a crosskick which beat their players on the left. Play came back to the opposite corner as the injured Owen was replaced by Jonah Holmes.

From the lineout, they steered play into the corner and replacement hooker Curtis Langdon dotted down. With only 40 seconds left on the clock, McGuigan missed his kick but the gap was down to four points and the referee blew up for full-time after Ford had got the game restarted.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 13-5 SAL

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 19-15 SAL

Attendance

18,652

Referee

Craig Maxwell-keys

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks
Possession
46%
54%
Territory
45%
55%
Penalties Conceded
10
11
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
202/227 89%
160/171 94%
Scrums Won
7/7 100%
4/5 80%
Lineouts Won
9/13 69%
9/12 75%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Jordan Olowofela
14Adam Thompstone
13Gareth Owen
12Kyle Eastmond1T
11Jonny May
10George Ford1C4P
9Ben White
1Greg Bateman
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Mike Williams
5Graham Kitchener
6David Denton
7Guy Thompson
8Sione Kalamafoni
16Ross McMillan
17David Fe'ao
18Joe Heyes
19Harry Wells
20Valentino Mapapalangi
21Ben Youngs
22Tom Hardwick
23Jonah Holmes
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
19

Full Time

Sale Sharks
Sale Sharks
15
Leicester Tigers
T
C
P
P
P
P
KOHTFT
Sale Sharks
T
T
T

Commentary

80

Thank you for your support

Thank you to all of the Tigers Family for your support today, in the stadium and following on Matchday Live.

80

Next home game

The next game here at Welford Road is in the Heineken Champions Cup, when Scarlets are the visitors. Match tickets are on sale now. Meanwhile, there's a small matter of an East Midlands derby at Twickenham next week and a testimonial for Rob Horne. 

80

Special presentations

The players are staying on the pitch as Manu Tuilagi is recognised for his 100th start for Tigers and Dan Cole is recognised for reaching 200 appearances for the club. Well done boys.

80

LeoVegas Fans' Favourite

Well done to Kyle Eastmond, who wins the vote for the LeoVegas Fans' Favourite after scoring his first try for the Tigers. Well played Kyle.

80

Moving up

Tigers move up a couple of places in the Gallagher Premiership table with that win, to join the pack of teams concertinaed on 13 points. 

It's all over

There is just enough time for the restart, and Ford cleverly knocks it long. It goes untouched and that is the game. Tigers win 19-15. Well done boys.

Sale score again

Sale have their third try. It's through their replacement hooker Curtis Langdon, as he joins in the driving maul to rumble over. The conversion is missed.

Tigers under pressure

Tigers are all hands to the pump on their line as Sale send wave after wave down on their defence. Heyes concedes a penalty for offside. Meanwhile, owen is off clutching his ribs and Jonah Holmes is on.

is that the game?

Ford lands a monster penalty from inside his own half to move Tigers 19-10 ahead. Welford Road enjoyed that one!

75

Another Thompson turnover

That's at least turnover number three for Guy Thompson, as he wins the penalty on halfway. Ford points to the posts ...

71

Missed chance

Sam James can only pick out Thompstone with his kick. He shifts the ball inside for Ford, who finds touch on halfway.

Tigers replacements

Heyes is on for his home debut. Wells also on, in place of Kitchener. And McMillan finds Wells at his first lineout, but Tigers are whistled and Sale have the penalty.

70

Relief for the Tigers

Tigers are under huge pressure in their 22. Thompson latches on to the ball and wins a huge turnover under the posts. Top work Guy.

Back-row replacement

Valentino Mapapalangi is on for his first appearance of the season, replacing Denton.

Tigers back on the attack

Tigers stay in the Sale 22, where they win the penalty decision for hands in the ruck. Ford lands an easy penalty to extend their lead to 16-10.

65

Tigers deep in Sale territory

Ross and Curry compete to conceded the penalty, which Ford punts to within 6m. But McMillan can't find his man and Sale clear. But they can only make 10m.

63

Missed conversion

Cliff misses another kick as he drags his conversion across the face of the posts. Play restarts with David Feao on for Bateman in the Leicester front row.

Try for the Sharks

Ross, fresh from winning the penalty, claims the lineout ball. Sale control the maul and eventually drive over for Webber to claim the try.

60

Sale penalty

Mix-up between Thompstone and Olowofela in defence allows Yarde to snare Thommo. Ross joins in to win the penalty turnover. 

59

McGuigan magic for Sale

Eastmond puts in a lovely kick for Owen to chase. He kicks into the in-goal area where McGuigan buys a yard from Owen and somehow finds touch 30m out. Excellent play from the Sale full-back.

Front-row replacements

Ross McMillan is coming on for his debut, replacing Tom Youngs. Youngs's last action was to put in a huge tackle that brings a knock-on and a put-in for Tigers.

57

Thompson talking it up

Rob Webber goes off target with the lineout, and Thompson loves it as he encourages his fellow forwards to keep it up. Go again Tigers.

55

Tigers breathe again

Tigers drag down the maul, and Sale have another advantage. Thompson steals possession but play comes back for the penalty lineout. Great work by Kalamafoni steals the ball at the back and Ben Youngs finds touch 35m out. Good 'D' boys!

54

Tigers tested in defence

Tigers repel 17 Sale phases to keep their line intact. But Ford is whistled for a high tackle as he rides the Sale runner. Tigers have another 5m lineout to defend ...

51

Penalty against Tigers

Tigers shove Sale off their ball, but somehow Sale get the penalty call as the scrum goes to ground. The Terrace seem unimpressed.

50

Unplayable ball

Tigers get the nudge on at the lineout, but can't get the ball out as the maul goes to ground. Sale to put the ball in on their 5m line.

Tigers 5m lineout

Another penalty against Sale, and Ford goes to the corner. Rohan Janse Van Rensburg and James Phillips on for Sale as we wait for the throw.

47

Maxwell-Keys makes the tackle!

Tigers have the scrum penalty advantage, Youngs darts and Thompstone has room to run into ... the only problem is that Sir is in that channel. Maxwell-Keys dusts himself down with a smile. Ford to the corner with the restart.

46

Tigers digging in

Olowofela can't gather a bouncing ball in his 22, but it buys him time to beat Yarde and run 15m upfield. Ben Youngs then launches a box kick that McGuigan knocks-on. It's not a classic but Tigers are digging in.

45

What a kick!

Tigers get the free-kick at the scrum under their posts and Ford gives it an all-mighty whack to take play up to halfway.

43

Tigers survive

... Sale build up a head of steam from the lineout. Tigers looked stretched as Bateman makes the tackle under the posts but Cliff knocks on as he tries to make the most of an overlap developing on the right. Tigers breathe again.

42

Sale go to the corner

Tom Curry wins the holding-on penalty against Kalamafoni. Sale turn down the three-pointer and go to the corner. Ross collects the throw ...

41

LeoVegas Fan Favourite

Voting is now open for the LeoVegas Fan Favourite for today's game exclusively on the Tigers app.

40

We're back for the second half

The two teams are out, and we're ready for the second period. Sale kick-off with Tigers attacking the Mattioli Woods Stand end.

Keep it up Tigers

A scrappy first-half comes to an end with a bit of a scrap on the far side with a bit of handbags between the two packs. Tigers lead 13-5 through Kyle Eastmond's try, plus a conversion and two penalties for George Ford.

Tigers scrum penalty

Ross, the Sale captain, comes off for an HIA and on comes Ben Curry. In the meantime, Bateman makes up for his handling error by winning the scrum penalty. Ford lands a simple penalty and Tigers lead 13-5.

36

Knock-on

Tigers pressure the Sale defence but lose the position on the edge of the Sharks 22 as Bateman can't collect Ben Youngs's pass.

35

Tenacious Tigers

Owen shows his smart rugby brain again, swooping on loose ball to give Ford the chance to kick into the corner. Yarde tries to shepherd it out but, under pressure from Thompstone, concedes the lineout.

32

Tigers scrum pinged

Bateman loses his bind and gives up the penalty. Cliff thinks about going to the corner before pointing to the posts. It proves the wrong decision as he pulls his kick wide. Tigers still lead 10-5.

Ben on for Ben

Ben Youngs is on at scrum-half for Ben White, who limps off with what looks like an ankle issue.

30

Scrappy play

Graham Kitchener throws a wild pass that Tom Youngs does brilliantly to recover. But then Thompson takes his eye off the ball and knocks-on. Sale scrum 45m out.

28

Close, but no try!

What an offload from George Ford as he collects a knock-on on halfway. He finds May on his outside to put on the afterburners and score. But wait ... we're going to the TMO. No try. The pass was forward. Pity, it was brilliant thinking from Ford.

27

Great work by Thompson

Guy Thompson makes a wonderful turnover in the Leicester 22 and Tigers break. Olowofela finds May but he is stopped, just, by the fingertips of Luke James.

Tigers extend their lead

Ford ignores a ripple on the Welford Road PA and the accompanying murmur in the crowd to land a penalty from 40m. Tigers lead 10-5.

23

Penalty chance

With a penalty advantage, Ford goes for broke with a chip over the on-rushing Sale defence. He can't gather, but play comes back for the kick at goal.

20

Penalty to Sale

Kitchener looks to be brought down in the lineout but the referee waves play-on. Denton makes ground but Greg Bateman loses possession and is then whistled for trying to retrieve the ball on the ground.

19

Lineout penalty

Sale are pinged as Andrei Ostrikov is thrown across the lineout. Ford puts it to within 5m. What have Tigers got here?

17

Quick-thinking

Tigers take a quick lineout on halfway and Owen boots into the Sale 22. With Tigers on the hunt, Byron McGuigan is forced into a quick to touch.

16

Scrum-half Cole

With White tackled as he sniped down the ruck, Dan Cole showed all of his experience after 85 international caps and more than 200 apperances by stepping in at scrum-half. And a nice pass to Tom Youngs too!

15

In the groove

Ford, who was at the heart of that try-scoring move, has found his kicking range too, kicking Leicester 60m upfield with a penalty from inside his 22.

More on the try

Owen found a half gap in the sale defence and freed his arms to get the pass for Eastmond to cross from 6m out. Lovely understanding from the pair. Ford converts and Tigers lead for the first time.

TTRRYY!!

Tigers are level and it's great understanding from centres Owen and Kyle Eastmond, for the England man to score. Super try from Eastmond.

12

Tiiigggeeerrrsss

The first chant of Tiiggeerrss goes up as Tigers get the nudge on at the maul. Ford puts Mike Williams on a line towards the line but he's stopped 5m out. Tigers still with it ...

10

First reset scrum

... Tigers get it right at the reset and win the penalty as Ross Harrison loses his footing. Ford finds touch 30m out.

8

First scrum

Tigers come under pressure at the game's first scrum. Sale look to have stolen possession but referee Craig Maxwell-Keys orders a reset.

6

Missed conversion

Scrum-half Will Cliff, who is kicking in the absence of MacGinty, strikes the post and the ball bounces clear. Tigers trail 5-0.

Sale score the first points

Sale punish Tigers' mistakes as first Adam Thompstone and Olowofela misjudge high balls. It puts Tigers on the back-foot and Marland Yarde pounces to score on the right.

3

Good defensive set

After Tigers' well-publicised defensive issues of recent week they 'D' up well in the first set and force the turnoveras Gareth Owen pounces on a loose ball.

0

Tigers on the attack

Tigers put together a series of phases around the Sale 10m line, but Jordan Olowofela is pinged for holding on and Sale kick into the Leicester half.

0

We're off

Ford launches the ball into the Leicester air and we are underway. And Tigers have possession from the kick-off for White to get a first feel of the ball.

0

Kick-off

George Ford will kick us off, with Tigers attacking the Robin Hood Stand at the Aylestone Road end of the ground.

0

Listen to that ROOOAAARRR!!!

A huge ROAR goes up around Welford Road for Tom Youngs and the Tigers team. Come on you boys, let's do this!

0

Here come the visitors

Sale Sharks, led by Jono Ross, take to the pitch first before Smoke on the Water pipes up around the stadium ...

0

All the best boys

Good luck to Ben White, who makes his first Gallagher Premiership start this afternoon. And good luck too, to Joe Heyes, who is set for his first home appearance after being named on the bench.

0

Welcome to Welford Road

Gallagher Premiership rugby is back at Welford Road this afternoon and it's another huge clash as Tigers entertain Sale Sharks.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Byron McGuigan
14
Denny Solomona
13
Luke James
12
Mark Jennings
11
Marland Yarde
10
Sam James
9
Will Cliff
1
Ross Harrison
2
Rob Webber
3
WillGriff John
4
Bryn Evans
5
Andrei Ostrikov
6
Jonathan Ross
7
Tom Curry
8
Josh Strauss

Subs

16
Curtis Langdon
17
Alexandru Tarus
18
Joe Jones
19
Josh Beaumont
20
James Phillips
21
Gus Warr
22
Ben Curry
23
Rohan Janse van Rensburg

Team news: Gallagher Premiership Round 5

Kyle Eastmond and Adam Thompstone return to the Leicester Tigers backline for Sunday’s home game against Sale Sharks in Round 5 of the Gallagher Premiership season.

Eastmond came off the bench to play a major part in the Tigers’ second-half fightback against Worcester Warriors last weekend and starts at centre in the absence of Manu Tuilagi who has a leg injury, while Thompstone has recovered from injury to take his place on the wing, with Jonah Holmes reverting to the bench.

England Under-20s cap Ben White starts his first Premiership game at scrum-half, with Ben Youngs among the replacements after a knock in last Sunday’s defeat by Worcester prevented his participation at the England training camp this week.

Tigers interim head coach Geordan Murphy retains the same forward pack that started last week, including back-rowers David Denton and Guy Thompson who both claimed their first tries for the club in that game at Welford Road.

Ross McMillan is included among the replacements and could make his debut as cover for skipper Tom Youngs at hooker.

Murphy said: “We’ve had a few bumps and bruises but they provide opportunities for others to step up and they know they have to be ready to take their opportunities.

“Ben White did really well last week and he’s a good indicator of how those young guys in the squad want it. He is a serious young man, he works very hard and he had a good 20 minutes against Warriors.

“From being 11-37 down last week, we got ourselves back level so it was massively disappointing not to be able to push on and get the win from there, but we have to bounce back, we have to be better.”

Tickets are available now from the Tigers ticket office. Purchase at Welford Road, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online at www.leicestertigers.com/matchtickets.

Leicester Tigers (v Sale Sharks, Welford Road, Sunday 3.00pm)

15 Jordan Olowofela

14 Adam Thompstone

13 Gareth Owen

12 Kyle Eastmond

11 Jonny May

10 George Ford

9 Ben White

1 Greg Bateman

2 Tom Youngs

3 Dan Cole

4 Mike Williams

5 Graham Kitchener

6 David Denton

7 Guy Thompson

8 Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements

16 Ross McMillan

17 David Feao

18 Joe Heyes

19 Harry Wells

20 Valentino Mapapalangi

21 Ben Youngs

22 Tom Hardwick

23 Jonah Holmes

Sale Sharks: 15 Byron McGuigan; 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Marland Yarde; 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Will Cliff; 1 Ross Harrison, 2 Rob Webber, 3 WillGriff John, 4 Bryn Evans, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 6 Jono Ross (capt.), 7 Tom Curry, 8 Josh Strauss

Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Alexandru Tarus, 18 Joe Jones, 19 James Phillips, 20 Josh Beaumont, 21 Ben Curry, 22 Gus Warr, 23 Rohan Janse Van Rensburg

Match preview: Tigers against Sharks

Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks meet for the 94th time in their history at Welford Road on Sunday (3.00pm) in the fifth round of the Gallagher Premiership season.

The previous 93 meetings have brought 66 wins for Tigers and 22 for the visitors, with five games drawn.  

Tigers claimed a bonus-point 35-27 victory in the corresponding fixture last season, with Gareth Owen and Ellis Genge among the tryscorers.

In team news announced on Friday, Tigers recall Adam Thompstone and Kyle Eastmond to the backline and give a Gallagher Premiership start to England Under-20s scrum-half Ben White. Sharks boss Steve Diamond includes international wings Denny Solomona and Marland Yarde in their backline, and recalls Rob Webber and Josh Strauss to the forward pack.

The Sharks, who last won at Welford Road in February 2016, are hunting a first away win in the league since a visit to Northampton in March.

“We got off to a slow start at Wasps and against Worcester last week,” said Tigers interim head coach Geordan Murphy. “We worked hard to get back into the game but you have to start better than that.

“We know what Sale bring, they have a quality side, but we have to focus on what we bring. I think it’ll be a ding-dong battle on Sunday.”

Referee is Craig Maxwell-Keys, in charge of a Premiership fixture for a 53rd time.

Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

For a full matchday guide to the day’s activities, including the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Oktoberfest, click here.

If you are not attending the game or are unable to watch on TV, you can keep up to date with all of the action using the Tigers Matchday Live service on website, mobile website and app, or follow the club’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Match tickets are still available. Book in person at Welford Road, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online using the link below. The office is open 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Saturday and from 9.00am on matchday.

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
8
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI9306214292-7822393318
11
Sale Sharks
Sale SharksSAL9315160209-4917260216

Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks meet for the 94th time in their history at Welford Road on Sunday (3.00pm) in the fifth round of the Gallagher Premiership season.

The previous 93 meetings have brought 66 wins for Tigers and 22 for the visitors, with five games drawn.  

Tigers claimed a bonus-point 35-27 victory in the corresponding fixture last season, with Gareth Owen and Ellis Genge among the tryscorers.

In team news announced on Friday, Tigers recall Adam Thompstone and Kyle Eastmond to the backline and give a Gallagher Premiership start to England Under-20s scrum-half Ben White. Sharks boss Steve Diamond includes international wings Denny Solomona and Marland Yarde in their backline, and recalls Rob Webber and Josh Strauss to the forward pack.

The Sharks, who last won at Welford Road in February 2016, are hunting a first away win in the league since a visit to Northampton in March.

“We got off to a slow start at Wasps and against Worcester last week,” said Tigers interim head coach Geordan Murphy. “We worked hard to get back into the game but you have to start better than that.

“We know what Sale bring, they have a quality side, but we have to focus on what we bring. I think it’ll be a ding-dong battle on Sunday.”

Referee is Craig Maxwell-Keys, in charge of a Premiership fixture for a 53rd time.

Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

Form Guide
Leicester Tigers
Form
LLLLL
Last Match
Lost to Racing 26-36
Past Meeting
Lost 16-18
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Sale Sharks
Form
DWLWD
Last Match
Draw with Bath 7-7
Past Meeting
Won 18-16

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers19
Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks15
Sale Sharks
Full Time