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Landmark weekend as Tigers return to action

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Marcos Ayerza and Alesana Tuilagi make their 100th starting appearances for Leicester Tigers in Saturday's return to Aviva Premiership action away to Bath.

Argentina prop Ayerza reaches the landmark in his fifth season at the club, while Samoan wing Tuilagi made his debut in September 2004 and has scored 47 tries in 99 previous starts plus 33 appearances as a replacement.

Tigers welcome back England’s Six Nations champions Toby Flood, Ben YoungsDan Cole and Tom Croft, while Jordan Crane and Matt Smith return from injury to join the matchday squad.

With just five rounds remaining, Tigers lead the Aviva Premiership table and director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “We’ve had a couple of weeks without a club game during the last stages of the Six Nations but the guys have recharged their batteries and they’ve been back to work, the internationals have returned and we’re focused on the run-in now, starting with Bath on Saturday.

“Louis Deacon is unavailable this week after returning from England duty with an Achilles injury, Martin Castrogiovanni and George Skivington are also injured, but we’ve got some bodies back during the break and it’s great news to have some strength in depth throughout the squad again.”

Ed Slater and Steve Mafi team up in the second row this weekend, with Croft lining up in the back row alongside Thomas Waldrom and skipper Craig Newby who makes his 50th starting appearance for the club.

Leicester Tigers (v Bath Rugby, away, Saturday 4.30pm)
15 Scott Hamilton
14 Horacio Agulla
13 Manu Tuilagi
12 Anthony Allen
11 Alesana Tuilagi
10 Toby Flood
9 Ben Youngs
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 George Chuter
3 Dan Cole
4 Steve Mafi
5 Ed Slater
6 Tom Croft
7 Craig Newby (c)
8 Thomas Waldrom

16 Rob Hawkins
17 Boris Stankovich
18 Julian White
19 Jordan Crane
20 Ben Woods
21 James Grindal
22 Jeremy Staunton
23 Matt Smith

Former Tigers fly-half Sam Vesty is named in the Bath team, but Lewis Moody is ruled out by a knee injury.

Bath Rugby: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Banahan, 13 Ben Williams, 12 Sam Vesty, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Claassens; 1 David Flatman, 2 Lee Mears, 3 Duncan Bell, 4 Stuart Hooper, 5 Danny Grewcock, 6 Ben Skirving, 7 Luke Watson (c), 8 Simon Taylor. Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 David Wilson, 19 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Shontayne Hape, 23 Jack Cuthbert