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Croft and Hipkiss back in starting line-up

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England internationals Tom Croft and Dan Hipkiss return to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for Saturday's home game against Worcester Warriors in the Guinness Premiership.

Head coach Richard Cockerill also brings Boris Stankovich into the front row and hands a Guinness Premiership debut to hooker Joe Duffey, a summer signing from Nottingham.

Scrum-half James Grindal starts his first game back at Welford Road since his summer return to Tigers after seven seasons with Newcastle Falcons.

After three away games in the opening month of the season, Tigers are back on home soil and Cockerill said: “We’ve taken points from each of our first four games and that is a solid start. But there is no time to sit back, we have to keep improving and working on our game.

“This is a crunch time of the season with a tough run of Guinness Premiership fixtures either side of our opening two games in the Heineken Cup.” 

Club captain Geordan Murphy, Richard Blaze and Aaron Mauger are ruled out this Saturday after playing in the draw at Bath Rugby last weekend.

“We’ve had to make a couple of changes to the team again this week which is not ideal, but the players have shown an excellent attitude and they all want to build on results and performances so far,” added Cockerill.

“Mefin Davies has done an excellent job for us in the last two weeks but Joe Duffey is given his opportunity this weekend. He has been with us since the summer, now he has his chance of a starting place and there is no better place than Welford Road to make an impact.”

Toby Flood, Sam Vesty, Alesana Tuilagi and Dan Cole have yet to play this season as they continue their recovery from injury, while George Chuter, Ben Woods and Harry Ellis are unavailable due to injury this weekend.

Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available from the Tigers ticket office. Phone the hotline on 0844 856 1880, call in at Welford Road or book online.

Leicester Tigers (v Worcester Warriors, Welford Road, Saturday 3.00pm)
15 Scott Hamilton
14 Matt Smith
13 Dan Hipkiss
12 Anthony Allen
11 Johne Murphy
10 Jeremy Staunton
9 James Grindal
1 Boris Stankovich
2 Joe Duffey
3 Martin Castrogiovanni
4 Louis Deacon (c)
5 Ben Kay
6 Tom Croft
7 Lewis Moody
8 Jordan Crane

16 Mefin Davies
17 Marcos Ayerza
18 Julian White
19 Geoff Parling
20 Craig Newby
21 Ben Youngs
22 Billy Twelvetrees
23 Lucas Amorosino