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Hipkiss back in Tigers starting XV

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England centre Dan Hipkiss returns to the Tigers starting line-up for this Saturday's vital Guinness Premiership clash with Sale Sharks at Welford Road (kick-off 3pm).

Hipkiss was an unused replacement in last weekend’s defeat to London Irish, with a groin strain previously keeping him out of the matchday squad since the Heineken Cup match at Edinburgh on January 12.

The 25-year-old former Academy player starts at outside centre, with Ayoola Erinle moving to the wing. Sam Vesty and Ollie Smith complete the back three, with Aaron Mauger partnering Hipkiss in the centres and Frank Murphy and Andy Goode named at halfback.

Club captain Martin Corry switches to the second row where he is joined by England lock Louis Decaon who has missed both of Tigers’ last two Premiership fixtures.

With Martin Castrogiovanni on Six Nations duty, Alex Moreno comes into the side at tight-head prop. As league regulations for an international weekend mean sides can field two foreign players, both Ben Herring and Marcos Ayerza are also included in the starting XV.

“We know that we need to improve on our last performance and we are looking forward to that challenge,” says Tigers head coach Marcelo Loffreda.

“Sale are a very good side who have been in good form recently. They will come into the game with a lot of confidence. They have been playing well, getting good results, and we will find them a very tough team, but we are also going to be in good shape. We were very disappointed to lose last weekend but we have to put that behind us and try and make up for that on Saturday.

Tigers (vs Sale Sharks, Saturday, February 23, Welford Road, kick-off 3pm)

1. Marcos Ayerza
2. George Chuter
3. Alex Moreno
4. Martin Corry (C)
5. Louis Deacon
6. Brett Deacon
7. Ben Herring
8. Jordan Crane

9. Frank Murphy
10. Andy Goode
11. Ollie Smith
12. Aaron Mauger
13. Dan Hipkiss
14. Ayoola Erinle
15. Sam Vesty


16. Ben Kayser
17. Dave Young
18. Gregor Gillanders
19. Ben Pienaar
20. Christophe Laussucq
21. Ian Humphreys
22. Johne Murphy