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Ellis and Tuilagi return for Tigers

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Harry Ellis and Alesana Tuilagi return from long-term injury to take their places in the Leicester Tigers squad for Saturday's Guinness Premiership match against Leeds Carnegie at Welford Road (3pm kick-off).

Julian White returns from suspension and head coach Marcelo Loffreda includes Geordan Murphy and Tom Croft after international duty.

Scrum-half Ellis has not played a first-team game since injuring a knee against Bristol last April, while Tuilagi has made only three appearances since the Rugby world Cup due to a groin problem.

Loffreda, who hands the captaincy to Louis Deacon after naming Martin Corry on the bench, said: "We have had to be patient with Harry and Alesana, they are not the type of injuries to rush. But we are delighted to have them back and add to the options in the squad. They are both world-class players.

"Martin Corry has had a heavy physical load recently and Louis Deacon has always done a great job whenever he has been named captain."

Ian Humphreys gets the nod at fly-half alongside Frank Murphy, while Dan Hipkiss partners Ollie Smith in midfield. Tom Varndell joins Johne Murphy and Geordan Murphy in the back three.

White is joined in the front row by Boris Stankovich and Mefin Davies, with Louis Deacon and Croft completing the front five. Brett Deacon, Ben Herring and Jordan Crane complete the forward pack.

Corry is among a strong selection on the bench which includes Martin Castrogiovanni as well as Ellis and Tuilagi.

"We know Leeds have improved a lot since we played them last and we expect a very tough game on Saturday," said Loffreda. "They have a very good defence and they will be a tough challenge for us."

Match tickets are on sale now from the Tigers ticket office, call the hotline on 08701 28 34 30, book online at www.leicestertigers.com or call in at Welford Road.

Tigers vs Leeds Carnegie (Welford Road, Saturday, kick-off 3pm)

15 Geordan Murphy
14 Tom Varndell
13 Dan Hipkiss
12 Ollie Smith
11 Johne Murphy
10 Ian Humphreys
9 Frank Murphy

1 Boris Stankovich
2 Mefin Davies
3 Julian White
4 Louis Deacon (c)
5 Tom Croft
6 Brett Deacon
7 Ben Herring
8 Jordan Crane


16 Benjamin Kayser
17 Martin Castrogiovanni
18 Martin Corry
19 Ben Pienaar
20 Harry Ellis
21 Andy Goode
22 Alesana Tuilagi