"It will be a pretty similar line-up this week, though we are still waiting to see if we get any of our international players back," said Howard. "Having said that, we are probably only looking at the players that could possibly return as candidates for the replacements bench this Sunday."
"We know we are without the five England forwards, as well as Martin Castrogiovanni, Jim Hamilton, Geordan Murphy and Seru Rabeni. We are still waiting to hear about Marcos Ayerza and Alex Tuilagi though. I think Marcos will start with Argentina, which will be interesting as he would be up against a Tigers teammate in Julian White. We do know we will be getting Andy Goode back however, which is obviously a plus."
In a period when Tigers are without so many players through international call-ups, Howard has praised the club's medical staff for ensuring he still has a squad of fit players to choose from.
"The physio and medical teams have done a great job for us. The only two players who are not available because of injury are Henry Tuilagi and Ollie Smith. The timing of that situation was very important in that it gives us as many selection options as was physically possible. We are still down to 28 players this week however, even with a fantastic injury situation."