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Hipkiss returns to Tigers line-up at London Irish

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England international Dan Hipkiss returns to the Leicester Tigers line-up for Saturday's trip to London Irish.

Hipkiss missed both of the opening rounds of the Heineken Cup due to illness but returns to the Tigers backline to partner Anthony Allen at centre.

Marcos Ayerza, Julian White and Richard Blaze return to the forward pack after starting last week’s Heineken Cup win in Viadana among the replacements.

“We have been a bit stretched, especially in the backs, so it is certainly good news to get Danny back this weekend,” said Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill.

“Irish have had a good start to the season and both teams have lost just one game in the Guinness Premiership so I’m sure it will be a keen contest.

“We don’t want to sit back against them. The more we took the game to the Ospreys two weeks ago, the better it was for us. You cannot go there and sit back or they will kill you."

Joe Duffey and Matt Smith have been added to the Tigers injured list this week and Cockerill is still also without Mefin Davies, Harry Ellis, Toby Flood, Aaron Mauger, Geordan Murphy, Craig Newby, Sam Vesty, Ben Woods and Alesana Tuilagi. 

England Under-18 centre Andy Forsyth is included in the matchday 23 for the first time.

Saturday’s match will be shown live on the big screen in the Tiger Bar at Welford Road. The bar opens from 2pm. Entry to the stadium is via Gate One at the corner of the Clubhouse and Caterpillar Stand.

Tigers return to Welford Road for a special double header on Saturday October 31 in support of Help For Heroes. Northampton Saints are the visitors in the opening East Midlands derby of the season at 5.35pm, followed by a match between the Tigers Academy and a British Army Development XV at 7.45pm. Book your tickets now and see two big games for the price of one. Contact the Tigers ticket hotline on 0844 856 1880, call in at Welford Road or book online.

Leicester Tigers (v London Irish, Madejski Stadium, Saturday 3.15pm)
15 Scott Hamilton
14 Johne Murphy
13 Dan Hipkiss
12 Anthony Allen
11 Lucas Amorosino
10 Jeremy Staunton
9 James Grindal
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 George Chuter
3 Julian White
4 Louis Deacon (c)
5 Richard Blaze
6 Tom Croft
7 Lewis Moody
8 Jordan Crane

16 Tom Youngs
17 Boris Stankovich
18 Martin Castrogiovanni
19 Geoff Parling
20 Brett Deacon
21 Ben Youngs
22 Billy Twelvetrees
23 Andy Forsyth