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Internationals return for Welford Road clash

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There is no Six Nations programme this week, but there will be a roll-call of international names at Welford Road as Leicester Tigers host Gloucester Rugby on Saturday (3pm).

Tigers welcome back club captain Geordan Murphy, England internationals Toby Flood and Louis Deacon, and prop Martin Castrogiovanni to their starting line-up.

Murphy lines up at full-back after appearances from the bench in the last two games on his return from injury, while fly-half Flood and second-rower Deacon have been released from international duty in time to run out on home soil.

Castrogiovanni returns to the Tigers front row after starting both games for Italy in the opening rounds of the Six Nations, and Anthony Allen is included at centre for the visit of his former club.

Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill said: “It’s great to have Geordan back fit again, and to have Floody and Deacs available for us this weekend.

“We got Dan Hipkiss, Jordan Crane and Ben Youngs back from the England camp too and that’s all good news for us.

“There are only eight league games left for us and every point is going to be important.”

England internationals Dan Cole and Lewis Moody are unavailable this week, and Tigers are without the injured Lucas Amorosino, Richard Blaze, Tom Croft, Ben Kay, Aaron Mauger and Julian White.

Welford Road will host another 20,000-plus crowd and tickets are still available from the Tigers ticket office, which is open until 5pm on Friday and from 9am on Saturday.

Phone the ticket hotline on 0844 856 1880, book online and collect on matchday, or call in at Welford Road.

Leicester Tigers (v Gloucester Rugby, Welford Road, Saturday 3pm)
15 Geordan Murphy
14 Scott Hamilton
13 Dan Hipkiss
12 Anthony Allen
11 Lote Tuqiri
10 Toby Flood
9 Ben Youngs
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 Mefin Davies
3 Martin Castrogiovanni
4 Louis Deacon (c)
5 Geoff Parling
6 Craig Newby
7 Ben Woods
8 Jordan Crane

16 George Chuter
17 Boris Stankovich
18 Robbie Harris
19 Calum Green
20 Brett Deacon
21 James Grindal
22 Jeremy Staunton
23 Alesana Tuilagi

An injury to James Simpson-Daniel has forced Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath to make changes to his backline.

Simpson-Daniel picked up a knock during last week's win over Harlequins and is replaced by Tom Voyce.

The only other change to the starting line-up from the 46-6 victory over Quins sees Scotland international scrum-half Rory Lawson return to partner Nicky Robinson at half-back.

Gloucester Rugby:
15 Olly Morgan
14 Tom Voyce
13 Tim Molenaar
12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu
11 Lesley Vainikolo
10 Nicky Robinson
9 Rory Lawson
1 Nick Wood
2 Olivier Azam
3 Greg Somerville
4 Dave Attwood
5 Alex Brown
6 Luke Narraway
7 Akapusi Qera
8 Gareth Delve (c)

16 Scott Lawson
17 Alasdair Dickinson
18 Pierre Capdevielle
19 Adam Eustace
20 Andrew Hazell
21 Andy Williams
22 Tim Taylor
23 Charlie Sharples