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Leicester Tigers
Racing 92

16 December 2018 13:00 at Welford Road

Team news | Tigers versus Racing 92

Graham Kitchener and Gareth Owen return to the Leicester Tigers team for Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup tie against Racing 92 at Welford Road (1.00pm).

Second-rower Kitchener missed out on the first leg of the back-to-back games with Racing in Paris last week and his introduction is the only change in the starting line-up, with Harry Wells reverting to the bench.

Owen is among the changes on the bench, replacing Matt Smith who suffered a dislocated shoulder during the 36-26 defeat in Paris. Facundo Gigena covers at prop in place of Campese Ma’afu.

Tigers interim head coach Geordan Murphy said: “I was disappointed that we couldn’t get more out of the game last week, but we take our positives and look at the areas where we fell down a bit and try to be better again this week.

“Most people in world rugby look at the Racing squad with real envy. They deserved their win last week and executed their opportunities when they came. Now we’re back at Welford Road and we have to look to take another step forward.”

Tickets for Sunday are still available, including a Kids For A Quid offer, at the Tigers ticket office. Book your place in person at Welford Road, by phoning 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online.

Leicester Tigers (v Racing 92, Welford Road, Sunday 1.00pm)

15 Jonah Holmes       

14 Adam Thompstone

13 Manu Tuilagi         

12 Matt Toomua        

11 Jonny May

10 George Ford (c)    

9 Ben White

1 Ellis Genge  

2 Tatafu Polota-Nau  

3 Dan Cole     

4 Will Spencer

5 Graham Kitchener

6 Mike Fitzgerald

7 Brendon O’Connor

8 Sione Kalamafoni   


16 Jake Kerr

17 Facundo Gigena   

18 Gaston Cortes       

19 Harry Wells

20 Mike Williams

21 Guy Thompson

22 Ben Youngs          

23 Gareth Owen

Racing 92: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Henry Chavancy (c), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Teddy Iribaren; 1 Guram Gogichashvili, 2 Ole Avei, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 6 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 8 Antonie Claassen
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Boris Palu, 20 Fabien Sanconnie, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Olivier Klemenczak, 23 Ben Volavola

Match preview | Tigers versus Racing 92 this Sunday

Leicester Tigers and Racing 92 begin the second half of their Pool 4 rivalry in the Heineken Champions Cup at Welford Road on Sunday lunchtime.

It was Racing, last season’s Champions Cup finalists, who won the opening encounter last Sunday, scoring five tries in a 36-26 victory at their La Defense Arena home, though Tigers did take a try bonus point for a second successive pool fixture following the home win over the Scarlets in October.

The hosts at La Defence– a sixth Paris venue to host Tigers since a first visit back in 1924 – scored five tries to stay top of Pool 4 at the halfway point in the tournament and take the early honours in the back-to-back fixtures during Rounds 3 and 4.

Racing have 14 points from three rounds and Ulster moved level after a bonus-point win over the Scarlets in Belfast on Friday evening. Tigers are on six with the Scarlets (2) in fourth place in the pool.

Laurent Travers, the joint-head coach at Racing 92, said after last Sunday’s final whistle in Paris: “Leicester will be ready and waiting for us. They’ve said that loud and clear, and we’ve seen it tonight. They were able to put in plenty of speed and intensity. We know that the conditions, pitch and crowd will be completely different.”

The two clubs have met on 10 previous occasions since 1922, with Racing 7-3 in front on number of wins, including the trip to Leicester last season when they became the first French team to win at Welford Road since Biarritz in January 2005.

Tigers second row Harry Wells says he hopes the home crowd can play their part in a vital Pool 4 encounter.

“The travelling support was great in Paris but you are overwhelmed by French supporters and their music and everything,” said Wells. “It is good for us to be back at Welford Road and hopefully now that we’re back at home the crowd can give us the edge we need.”

In team news announced on Friday, Tigers make just one change to the starting line-up, with Graham Kitchener coming into the second row, while Gareth Owen and Facundo Gigena are called up to the matchday squad.

Racing make changes in the front row and at centre they recall Henry Chavancy who captains the team at Welford Road.

Match referee for Sunday is George Clancy of Ireland.

Tigers will wear the club’s traditional red, white and green colours in all six pool fixtures in the Champions Cup this season.

Welford Road will host activities and entertainment throughout the day as supporters enjoy the countdown to Christmas. Click here for the matchday guide.

Kick-off is at 1.00pm and there is live coverage on BT Sport.

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 the club website, mobile website and official app. Or follow the club’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tigers return to home turf next Saturday when Harlequins are the visitors in the Gallagher Premiership. Kick-off is at 3.00pm and match tickets are available now. There will be Christmas activities for supporters throughout the afternoon too. Book your place in person at Welford Road, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online.

Leicester Tigers v Racing 92 (Heineken Champions Cup) - Sunday, December 16, kick-off 1.00pm

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
Racing 92
Racing 92RAC33009451431282014
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI31028187-61011206
Form Guide
Leicester Tigers
Last Match
Lost to Racing 26-36
Past Meeting
Lost 26-36
Last Match
Past Meeting
Racing 92
Last Match
Beat Tigers 36-26
Past Meeting
Won 36-26