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Clubmates go head to head at Welford Road

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Friendships will be put to one side when Tigers trio Tom Varndell, Ollie Smith and Jordan Crane line up opposite clubmate Johne Murphy in international colours at Welford Road on Friday evening (7.45 kick-off).

Varndell, Smith and Crane have been named in the England Saxons team, while Tigers colleague Murphy lines up on the wing for Ireland A.

"Apart from playing for England at Twickenham, running out in an England team at Welford Road has got to be the next best thing," Varndell said.

“I'm really looking forward to the game. It will be a special moment not just for me, but for all the Leicester guys.

“There is a lot of ability in the Saxons squad and Ireland have named a quality side too. They have some senior internationals like Shane Horgan and exciting young players like Luke Fitzgerald and, of course, Johne who has been playing very well for Tigers this season.

“It will be a great experience to play in front of our home fans for our national teams.”

Murphy, who was first capped at this level during last season’s Barclays Churchill Cup, said: “It is going to feel a bit weird coming out of the away dressing room but I’ve enjoyed some great occasions at Welford Road and this is sure to be another one.”

Read more views from Varndell and Murphy - and meet the rest of the respective squads - in the official matchday programme, available around Welford Road, priced £2.

Tickets for Friday’s game are still available, contact the Tigers ticket office on 08701 28 34 30 or book online at www.leicestertigers.com