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Match report | Tigers gain derby victory

Leicester Tigers made it three home wins in a row with an 18-9 victory over Wasps in a Gallagher Premiership derby at Welford Road on Saturday.

The biggest crowd of the season so far at Welford Road cheered tries from Greg Bateman and Telusa Veainu in the Round 10 contest following a two-week break from league action.

There was further good news with Hanro Liebenberg back in the starting line-up for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in early November.

With Storm Dennis sweeping across the country, rain and strong winds met the teams as Tigers got the game started, kicking towards the Mattioli Woods Stand end but Wasps had the better of the first half with two penalties from Jimmy Gopperth against one from Tom Hardwick to lead 6-3 at the break.

Kicks from Gopperth and replacement Noel Reid made it 6-9 early in the second half with an inconsistent wind making any continuity challenging.

Tigers grabbed the opening try of the day with Greg Bateman finishing a forward drive for the line on 55 minutes and they led 13-9 with Reid’s conversion before Telusa Veainu’s 80-metre interception try provided some daylight on the scoreboard following a try-saving tackle from Ben White at the other end.

An early indication of the wind was a Hardwick kick from deep inside his own half which bounced dead at the opposite end of the field, giving Wasps a scrum put-in 20 metres inside Tigers territory.

Jimmy Gopperth provided the opening points of the day with a penalty from in front of the Tigers posts after his chip down the right had threatened the home team defence with nine minutes played.

Tigers had the wind at their backs but found it difficult to get control of field position, losing a lineout from a penalty in their own half and then needing Hardwick to cover another chip from Gopperth with Wasps chasing a first win at Welford Road since 2016 and only a second since 2008.

Gopperth added a three-pointer when Jaco Taute was penalised for a deliberate knock-on inside his own 22, making it 6-0 to the visitors.

Tigers finally returned to rival territory when Hardwick was played off the ball at a ruck near halfway and, after kicking to touch, gained another penalty as Willis pulled down the maul.

But this time the kick was over-cooked into the corner and the chance was gone.

A towering kick from Ben White had the Wasps defence scampering back and with Jonah Holmes chasing down Marcus Watson, the forwards arrived in force to take play forward, with Jordan Taufua charging at the line before being closed out.

Play came back for a penalty which Tigers drove in the left-hand corner, but lost ball as Thomas Young wrapped it up just a few metres in front of his own line.

Tigers, though, were building some momentum in the right half of the field and gained reward when Hardwick thumped over a penalty from 25 metres to get on the scoreboard with almost half an hour played.

Wasps fly-half Jacob Umaga over-hit his kick-off and play came back to halfway for a Leicester scrum. With referee Karl Dickson already playing advantage, Wasps were whistled for a second offence. Hardwick took on the kick from 40-plus metres and had the distance but was just off-target.

Kieran Brookes was whistled for a no-arms challenge on Bateman after strong carries from Tom Youngs, Harry Wells and Liebenberg. Hardwick’s kick took play into the corner with four minutes left in the half but Willis stole lineout ball as the visitors reached the break 6-3 in front.

They began the second half with a penalty as Tigers failed to deal with the kick-off and then saw Tomas Lavanini sin-binned, adjudged to have played the supporting player as Will Rowlands claimed the lineout ball.

Wasps kept the ball tight and when Tigers were whistled in front of the posts, Gopperth kicked to make it 9-3 in the visitors’ favour.

Another good driving maul from a Tigers lineout took play 25 metres upfield and brought a penalty which Hardwick played into the corner before being replaced by Noel Reid. Although Tigers drove forward again, ball was wrapped up by the defence and they had put-in at a scrum just metres from their own line.

Nizaam Carr slipped as he picked up at the base and Umaga was only able to kick 20 metres clear, allowing Tigers to rumble forward again from another lineout with Bateman and Cole taking play almost up to the line before the defence fell foul of Dickson’s whistle.

Reid kicked the points to make it 6-9 with 10 minutes of the second period elapsed.

Lavanini returned to the field in time to play his part in another lineout drive which ended in another penalty to Tigers on halfway.

An immediate repeat, this time 20 metres further upfield, brought the same verdict and a warning from referee Dickson as Tigers kicked to the left-hand corner.

It was a useful weapon for the home side and they used it to good effect as Bateman steered the maul over the line for the first try of the afternoon. Reid’s conversion made it 13-9 with Tigers in front for the first time on 55 minutes.

The hosts had a massive escape, though, a few minutes later when they lost ball and Wasps attacked down the right. Zach Kibirige was the extra man out wide and looked like running in to score until White raced back to tackle him a metre short and the wing knocked the ball on.

Wasps were still in the Tigers half, though, but from their own lineout they lost ball in attack and Veainu picked up to run 80 metres to score.

Reid’s touchline conversion was wide but the 10-point swing in the space of just a couple of minutes was crucial with Tigers now 18-9 in front.

Veainu threatened again moments later after picking up loose ball wide on the right, though Wasps regained ball and almost manufactured space of their own for Kibirige on the opposite flank before Eastmond stepped in.

A neck roll at a ruck on Tommy Reffell gave Tigers the chance to end the game in the Wasps half, with Reid playing the penalty down the right touchline and play stayed there until Dickson’s final whistle.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 3-6 WAS

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 18-9 WAS

Attendance

23,353

Referee

Karl Dickson

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Wasps
Possession
51%
49%
Territory
53%
47%
Penalties Conceded
9
15
Yellow Cards
1
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
86/105 82%
84/101 83%
Scrums Won
5/6 83%
8/8 100%
Lineouts Won
17/22 77%
8/12 67%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Wasps
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Telusa Veainu1T
14Jonah Holmes
13Jaco Taute
12
11
10Tom Hardwick1P
9Ben White
11T
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Tomas Lavanini
5Will Spencer
6Hanro Liebenberg
7Jordan Taufua
8Sione Kalamafoni
16
17Nephi Leatigaga
18Joe Heyes
19Harry Wells
20Tommy Reffell
21Harry Simmons
22Noel Reid1C1P
23George Worth
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
18

Full Time

Wasps
Wasps
9
Leicester Tigers
P
P
T
C
T
KOHTFT
Wasps
P
P
P

Commentary

80

CUBS GO FOR GLORY ON SUNDAY

And don’t forget the first-team aren’t the only Tigers in action this weekend – as the Tigers Academy prepare for their Under-18 League Grand Final at Sixways on Sunday (4.00pm).

Matt Smith’s side, with five wins in six games so far this season, take on southern conference-toppers London Irish in the showpiece and are in the running for an unprecedented third consecutive title.

You can keep up to date with blow-by-blow commentary using the Matchday Live service on the Tigers website as well as via the club’s social media channels.

Good luck, Cubs!

80

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Thank you to the 23,353 supporters who braved the conditions at Welford Road  to cheer on the Tigers this afternoon.

Three home games in 2020, three wins. Solid.

FULL TIME | 18-9

Tigers take four points from their Gallagher Premiership victory over Wasps.

79

NECK ROLL

...but, just as we type that, Brad Shield gives away a penalty as he neck rolls Tommy Reffell off the ball.

Reid puts his side into the 22 with less than a minute remaining.

79

THROUGH THE HANDS

Wasps have the ball, and need to put it through hands to get anything out of this Round 10 match.

TWO MORE CHANGES

Jaco Taute and Jordan Taufua are replaced by George Worth and Tommy Reffell.

75

GREAT TAKE

Lavanini does a great job of taking the lineout behind his head, as the ball is caught on the swirling wind. Tigers push up and into the Wasps half.

73

TURNOVER!

Will Spencer wins the ball back from Bard Shields in a real old-school tussle within the Tigers half, and Simmons will have a put-in to a green, white and red scrum.

HEYES FOR COLE

Dan Cole's afternoon is done, as Joe Heyes joins the Tigers front row.

71

TAP-AND-GO

Karl Dickson calls an early shove from the Tigers pack, but Searle goes for the tap-and-go rather than booting the ball into touch.

TWO CHANGES

Ben White and Greg Bateman have completed their work for the afternoon, as Harry Simmons and Nephi Leatigaga join the fray.

UMAGA LEAVES THE FIELD

Billy Searle takes control of Wasps from fly-half, as Jacob Umaga leaves the field.

69

BREAK THE LINE

Veainu is through again on the far side in front of the Holland & Barrett Stand, but opts to keep hold of the ball on the ground rather than attempt a miracle offload. Momentum is totally with Tigers, now.

68

TIGERS THROW

Polota-Nau goes to the front of the lineout, and White kicks deep to turn the Wasps defenders on to their heels.

ANOTHER WASPS CHANGE

...and Sam Spink is on in place of Michael Le Bouregois.

WASPS REPLACEMENT

Tommy Taylor is off the field, replaced by No16 Gabriel Oghre.

66

MISSED KICK

Reid can't quite make the touchline conversion, so Tigers' lead remains at 18 points to nine.

VEAINU SPRINTS IN!

Veainu pounces on a loose Wasps ball and sprints 80 metres to finish off Tigers' second score. Welford Road ROARS!

64

GAME CHANGER!

Superb defence from Ben White, as Wasps go quickly from the back of the scrum, out to their backline and into the hands of Zach Kibirige ... who is certain to score until the Tigers scrum-half chases back and knocks the ball from his hands. Incrwdible.

BROOKES OFF

Biyi Alo is on at tighthead for the visitors, as Kieran Brookes takes his place in the dugout.

63

TOUCHFINDER

Robson spots some space in behind Reid, and finds touch just inside the Tigers 22.

62

CRASH BALL

Wasps win a free kick from the scrum and us their advantage, opting for route one via Michael Le Bourgeois and then No8 Vailanu.

FRONT ROW CHANGE

Tatafu Polota-Nau takes the places of captain Tom Youngs, and the Australia international is into the action immediately as he packs down for a scrum on halfway.

60

OUT OF TROUBLE

Wasps put the pressure on deep into Tigers' half, but the ball comes out to Kyle Eastmond and the inside centre sticks a brilliant kick behind the gold line and into touch on halfway.

SHIELDS FOR FLAMENT

Brad Shields replaces Thibaud Flament as Wasps line up a throw-in inside the Tigers 22.

REID CONVERTS

The ball is blown from the tee, but Kyle Eastmond arrives to settle the nerves ... and Reid has the conversion. Tigers lead 13 points to nine.

TIGERS RUMBLE OVER

Sheer. Forward. Power. Tigers have the first try of the game through Greg Bateman, who crosses from the back of another big rolling maul.

54

TAKE TWO!

Lavanini is picked out this time around, but the ball is quickly out the back for Leicester. Rory Hughes thinks he's dotted down in the corner ... but we'll come back for the penalty advantage.

BACK ROW CHANGE

Sione Vailanu replaces Nizaam Carr for Wasps.

52

FULL STRENGTH

Lavanini returns to the field in time for another Leicester lineout, but this one goes to Hanro Liebenberg.

The pack rumble up and over halfway and win the penalty as Wasps bring down the maul illegally.

51

TO-AND-FRO

Umaga pins Tigers back into the corner with a brilliant touchfinder, and the partisan crowd aren't happy with Wasps taking the Tigers man early in the air.

There's no penalty this time around, but just moments later Wasps give one away on the floor. Reid gets it up to the 10-metre line.

THREE POINTS IN IT

Reid's penalty brings Tigers back into the game, with Lavanini still in the sin bin.

48

UP TO THE LINE

Some big phases from the Tigers pack put the home side well on the way to rumbling over the line, but they can't quite make the final pass count.

Wasps give away the penalty, but Reid opts for the shot at goal to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

REID TO FLY-HALF

Noel Reid replaces Tom Hardwick at stand-off for Leicester.

46

BACK DOWNFIELD

Tigers drive towards the Robin Hood Stand via boot and sheer power, win the penalty, and Hardwick puts it into the corner. That will be his final input of the game.

WASPS PENALTY

Gopperth drills another penalty through the posts and Wasps lead by nine points to three.

43

NOT ROLLING AWAY

Another Tigers penalty, this time for not rolling away in front of the posts. The visitors will go for goal.

YELLOW CARD | TOMÁS LAVANINI

Tigers second-rower Tomás Lavanini will spend 10 minutes on the sidelines after replays show Wasps No8 Nizaam Carr land awkwardly at the lineout.

That's the first card - of either colour - of Leicester's league campaign.

41

EARLY PENALTY

Tom Youngs is trapped on the ground at the restart, and Wasps have the penalty for holding on. Taylor will feed a Wasps lineout on the five-metre line...

BACK IN ACTION

Jacob Umaga kicks off the second half at Welford Road.

HALF TIME | 3-6

A tense affair at Welford Road, but Wasps take a three-point advantage into the break.

39

BUNDLED INTO TOUCH

Wasps go to the shortside from their drifting scrum, but Liebenberg is there to make sure Nizaam Carr is bundled over the whitewash.

38

FUMBLED BALL

The lineout goes awry, and matters are made worse for Tigers as the ball bobbles out of Hardwick's hands. Wasps have a scrum just in front of their dugout.

Veainu has also been down for some treatment, but he rejoins the backline.

36

LIEBENBERG PRESSES ON

Liebenberg is the latest Tigers forward to run hard and fast at the Wasps line, as he sets the example for Tomás Lavanini and Greg Bateman to follow.

Former Tigers man Kieran Brookes can't stop the man legally, and his tackle gifts Hardwick a kick to the corner.

34

'DIFFERENCE OF OPINION'

Neither team can claim Tommy Taylor's throw-in at the lineout, but he ball bounces back to Tigers. Taute runs up, ball in hand ... it is knocked on, and Wasps will have the scrum.

There's a bit of push and shove between Wells and Young, but we're sure it's just a difference of opinion. Scrum down.

32

NICE WORK

Tigers have the ball as the game restarts, and Taufua is not held on the ground so takes the opportunity to edge forward another couple of metres.

White puts boot to ball from the base of the ruck, and it bounces into touch and delivers another big territorial gain.

PROP SWAP

Zurabi Zhvania joins the action as loosehead prop Simon McIntyre is helped from the field.

32

A WHISKER WIDE

A decent connection from Hardwick as he looks to even the scores, but the ball just drifts to the right in the swirling wind. Not a bad effort at all.

31

BIG SHOVE

The Tigers pack are in great form as they drive through their Wasps counterparts at a scrum on halfway, and they win penalty advantage.

White releases his backline, and Wasps give away another penalty on the 10-metre line as Hardwick points to the posts.

THROUGH THE UPRIGHTS

Hardwick makes no mistake from the tee and gets his Tigers team on to the scoreboard.

28

WHISTLE BLOWN

Robson kicks clear form the scrum and there's a tense moment as Hughes throws back in for a quick lineout, only for the ball to just miss Marcus Watson on the way to Veainu.

The on-loan wing clears up, though, and Tigers win a penalty in the middle of the field.

26

WASPS WIN THE BALL

Wasps captain Thomas Young gets over the ball in the corner of the field to win a scrum for his side. Dan Robson to feed.

HEAD INJURY ASSESSMENT

Sione Kalamafoni is replaced by Harry Wells.

24

UP TO THE LINE

There's a bit of ping ping between the two teams before White hoists another one high for Umaga ... and the former Tigers man watches it bounce again.

The ball hops along for Holmes to pressure the Wasp backfield and the home side are right up to the line. Jordan Taufua goes to the short side, but can't quite break through the final tackle.

22

PRESSURE OFF

Leicester win a second penalty on the edge of the Wasps 22, but Hardwick kicks dead and Umaga has free ball to kick deep into Tigers territory.

20

ARM UP

Tigers lose a lineout throw, but win the ball back moments later after Thomas Young plays the man without the ball. He's made a couple of late(ish) hits on Hardwick so far, but that's the first that referee Karl Dickson has penalised.

Fly-half Hardwick drills the ball downfield.

18

HOLMES HIGHEST

Returning Wales wing Jonah Holmes jumps highest for a Wasps high-ball this time around, and he jinks past two men in gold to put his team on the front foot.

17

WHITE SPINS THROUGH

White puts up another hanging kick into the breeze, and after Wasp watch it bounce once the scrum-half pounces on possession and spins past the first defender. Neat.

ANOTHER PENALTY

Jaco Taute is adjudged to have deliberately knocked on as Wasps go from the base of their scrum, and Gopperth has another chance at the posts ... and it's through.

14

GREASY BALL!

Unlucky. Hardwick drops a testing kick and we'll scrum down inside the Tigers 22.

12

BALL IN BEHIND

The rain is swirling around the Welford Road bowl, and Jacob Umaga does exactly as Hardwick did moments ago ... and kicks to deep. His opposite man dots down for a 22.

10

FRANTIC MOMENTS

Wasps attack through their heavy forwards, but Hardwick scrags possession with an intercept.

The ball is back in gold hands before long, though ... but the ball is unplayable on the ground. Hardwick kicks to touch.

FIRST BLOOD TO WASPS

Gopperth drills the ball between the uprights and gives Wasps a three-point lead.

8

POINT TO THE POSTS

Wasps win a penalty just inside the 22, and inside centre Gopperth - used to windy Wellington - calls for the tee.

7

GOPPERTH BREAKS THROUGH

Tigers steal a Wasps lineout but can't manage to break the line, so Ben White puts up a testing kick for full-back Marcus Watson.

The visitors have it, and feed Jimmy Gopperth to run a clever arc towards the right-hand touchline. Rory Hughes clears up.

5

VEAINU CALLS THE MARK

A pretty even scrum, and Dan Robson whips the ball out for Wasps. they attempt to break the line but Sione Kalamafoni stands strong, so scrum-half Robson chips through ... and Telusa Veainu is there. He calls for a 22 drop-out.

3

END-OVER-END

Tom Hardwick looks to pin Wasps back - and it's a nice idea - but the wind catches the ball and it bounces end-over-end through the deadball area, so we'll restart with the first scrum of the game.

2

HANRO'S HOME!

Hanro Liebenberg climbs highest at an early lineout in his first game back from injury, and Tigers have possession of the ball.

KICK OFF FROM WELFORD ROAD

Tom Hardwick blasts the ball towards the Mattioli Woods Stand and we're udnerway at Welford Road.

0

TAKE TO THE FIELD

The Guard of Honour flags fly in the breeze and there's a roar from the Welford Road faithful to welcome Tom Youngs leads his Tigers team on to the field.

0

FIVE MINUTES TO GO

The rain drives in yet harder and the wind picks up as the Tigers team head up the tunnel. Just a few moments to go until we're underway.

0

CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS

Hanro Liebenberg returns to the Tigers back row for the first time since November after overcoming an ankle injury.

Tigers are without five players with the England squad – Ellis Genge, George Ford, Jonny May, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs – but Jonah Holmes is back on club duties following his commitments with the Wales squad.

Tom Hardwick and Ben White resume their half-back pairing, with club captain Tom Youngs leading the side from the front row.

Wasps include Tigers Academy graduate Jacob Umaga at fly-half, while England international Brad Shields returns to the matchday 23 after recovering from a foot injury.

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

0

VEAINU WRAPS UP WARM FOR ROUND 10 CLASH

Tigers full-back Telusa Veainu says both sides will keep one eye on the wind and rain this afternoon – and that he’ll be wearing a couple of extra layers.

“The conditions are always going to affect how you play a game of footy,” he continued. “It’s alright when it rains a little bit, but when there’s wind added into that … you saw what happened to Scotland versus England.

“Both teams will have to adapt to that. For us, we’ve got to be on the money – Kibirige and Watson, Sopoaga – there are some big names that we’re going to have to look after.

“This week we’ve prepared to be ready for those situations. It’s going to be a big occasion for both teams.”

0

WEATHER UPDATE | DENNIS THE MENACE

Welford Road has been lashed by wind and rain from Storm Dennis overnight, and there’s no sign of conditions improving for this afternoon’s big game.

There’s a forecast for persistent rain and heavy gusts throughout the afternoon. Spare a thought for those stood on the Breedon Terrace!

0

MATCH PREVIEW | TIGERS VERSUS WASPS

The Gallagher Premiership returns to Welford Road this afternoon for a Derby Day fixture between Tigers and Coventry-based Wasps.

All six of the last league meetings between these two sides have been won by the home side on the day, with Joe Ford scoring all of Leicester’s points in a 19-14 victory in this fixture last year.

Overall, the two clubs have met on 104 occasions with Tigers winning 61 to 38 by Wasps, with five games drawn. Almost 50 of those games have been played at Welford Road where the home team’s record is won 39, lost 8.

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

WELCOME TO MATCHDAY LIVE!

We’re LIVE from Welford Road for Round 10 of the Gallagher Premiership, as Leicester Tigers take on Wasps (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
Marcus Watson
14
Zach Kibirige
13
Michael Le Bourgeois
12
Jimmy Gopperth
11
Josh Bassett
10
Jacob Umaga
9
Dan Robson
1
Simon McIntyre
2
Tommy Taylor
3
Kieran Brookes
4
Will Rowlands
5
Thibaud Flament
6
Jack Willis
7
Thomas Young
8

Subs

16
Gabriel Oghre
17
Zurab Zhvania
18
Biyi Alo
19
Brad Shields
20
Sione Vailanu
21
Sam Wolstenholme
22
Billy Searle
23
Sam Spink

Derby day preview | Tigers v Wasps

Leicester Tigers host Wasps in Derby Day at Welford Road on Saturday as Gallagher Premiership action returns from a two-week break.

After a delayed start to the season due to the Rugby World Cup in Japan, the programme is still only up to Round 10 in mid-February with Saturday’s rivals separated by six points in the table after Wasps moved up to ninth place following a 30-26 win at Worcester last time out.

The last six Premiership meetings between the two clubs have all been won by the home side on the day, with Joe Ford scoring all of the Tigers points in a 19-14 victory in this fixture last year. In a nail-biting finish, Wasps missed out on only a second win in Leicester since 2008 when they were denied a last-gasp score after consultation between the referee and television match official as the built pressure on the Tigers tryline.

Overall, the two clubs have met on 104 occasions with Tigers winning 61 to 38 by Wasps, with five games drawn. Almost 50 of those games have been played at Welford Road where Leicester's record is won 39, lost 8.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s derby, Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “It’s a huge game, a local rivalry, and we’ve had some really tight encounters with Wasps in the last few years. I’m sure this will be no different.

“There are just 10 points between fifth and 11th in the table and we certainly don’t want to be in the position we are in – we believe we are stronger than that.”

In team news announced on Friday lunchtime, Tigers welcome back Hanro Liebenberg for his first game since November after recovering from injury. He joins Jordan Taufua and Sione Kalamafoni in the back row of the pack. Jonah Holmes and Kyle Eastmond both line up in Tigers colours against their former club. 

Tigers academy graduate Jacob Umaga returns to the Wasps line-up after his recent call-up to train with the England squad, and there is another former Tiger in the front row where Kieran Brookes packs down against former colleagues Dan Cole and Tom Youngs.

James Gaskell is ruled out of the Wasps pack, giving a call-up to Thibaud Flament while Brad Shields returns to the matchday 23 after recovering from a foot injury. There is also a place on the bench for 20-year-old centre Sam Spink.

Speaking to the media this week, Wasps defence coach Ian Costello said: “It comes down to margins in these games. Last year it came down to one moment against Leicester and we don’t expect it to be any different this year.

“There’s no doubt this is an eight-pointer this weekend. We’re all scrapping for points but we have to focus on ourselves and see if we can go to Welford Road, pick up another win and build momentum.”

Karl Dickson is Saturday’s match referee and kick-off is at 3.00pm.

Match tickets are still available now at the Tigers ticket office with Welford Road welcoming its biggest crowd of the season so far. The office is open from 9.00am. Book in person, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online any time.

If you are unable to attend the game, you can keep up to date using the Matchday Live service on the Tigers website and app or using the club’s official social media channels. There is also live TV coverage with BT Sport.

See our matchday guide to help you get the most from your time at Welford Road this weekend.

Team news: Tigers versus Wasps

Back-rower Hanro Liebenberg returns to the Leicester Tigers line-up for the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Round 10 fixture against Wasps at Welford Road on Saturday (3.00pm).

Liebenberg is back to full fitness after injury and in line for his first appearance since the beginning of November as Tigers host their derby rivals.

He joins Jordan Taufua in the back row for the first time, with Sione Kalamafoni at No8.

Tigers are without five players with the England squad – Ellis Genge, George Ford, Jonny May, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs – but Jonah Holmes returns to club duties from his commitments with the Wales squad.

Holmes joins Telusa Veainu and on-loan Rory Hughes in the back three, with Jaco Taute joining Kyle Eastmond at centre and academy graduates Tom Hardwick and Ben White continuing as the half-back pairing.

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “We’ve managed to refresh some bodies in the break since our last game at Bath and we’ve trained well over the last two weeks. Everyone is now just keen to get back into playing matches.

“It’s good to have Hanro back. It was a real shame to lose him after he started the season so strongly and to have him fit again is a real boost.”

Guy Thompson and Calum Green are both still sidelined by injury.

Tickets are available now, with the biggest crowd of the season so far already expected at Welford Road on Saturday. To book a place, contact the Tigers ticket office, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online at www.leicestertigers.com

Leicester Tigers (v Wasps, Welford Road, Saturday 3.00pm)

15 Telusa Veainu       

14 Jonah Holmes       

13 Jaco Taute

12 Kyle Eastmond      

11 Rory Hughes         

10 Tom Hardwick

9 Ben White

1 Greg Bateman

2 Tom Youngs (c)      

3 Dan Cole     

4 Tomás Lavanini       

5 Will Spencer

6 Hanro Liebenberg

7 Jordan Taufua

8 Sione Kalamafoni    

Replacements

16 Tatafu Polota-Nau 

17 Nephi Leatigaga    

18 Joe Heyes

19 Harry Wells

20 Tommy Reffell

21 Harry Simmons

22 Noel Reid  

23 George Worth

Wasps: 15 Marcus Watson, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Michael Le Bourgeois, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Dan Robson (cc); 1 Simon McIntyre, 2 Tommy Taylor, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Will Rowlands, 5 Thibaud Flament, 6 Jack Willis, 7 Thomas Young (cc), 8 Nizaam Carr
Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Zurabi Zhvania, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Sione Vailanu, 21 Sam Wolstenholme, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Sam Spink

 

 

 

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
2
Wasps
WaspsWAS211308616492124755711366
11
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI206113345537-19232691128
Form Guide
Form
LLWDL
Last Match
Lost to RC Toulon 19-34
Past Meeting
Lost 7-54
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WWWWW
Last Match
Beat Harlequins 32-23
Past Meeting
Won 54-7