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Leon keen to make up for lost time

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Leon Lloyd will finally come face to face with Argentina in the PwC Challenge Cup at Welford Road today, five years later than he had hoped. It is a case of better late than never for Lloyd, who was robbed by injury of a place in the England squad for their trip to the South American nation in the summer of 2002.

The 29-year-old, who is in his benefit season after a decade with Leicester, will line up on the Tigers wing against the Argentineans.

"I missed the Heineken Cup Final against Munster that year because of a neck injury after failing a fitness test on the morning of the game," says Lloyd who will feature in an exciting-looking backline with Daryl Gibson, Matt Cornwell, Tom Varndell, Sam Vesty, Scott Bemand and Johne Murphy. "Then afterwards, in England training, Lewis Moody flew into me and I injured my neck again so I couldn't go on the tour."

Lloyd is now looking forward to a run-out against international opposition at Welford Road.

"It's a massive game - they have some excellent players," he said. "We have a pretty inexperienced pack, some experienced backs and the very, very experienced Graham Rowntree!

"Argentina have excellent forwards - we have three props who grew up there and a lot of clubs go to Argentina looking for forwards - but there is also a lot more to them now and they have some very dangerous backs. Juan Martin Hernandez, from Stade Francais, is one of the most talented players in world rugby at the moment and they have a lot of guys who play regular Heineken Cup rugby so they are going to be a massive challenge for us.

"I am looking forward to it. I want to get some game time - and I haven't seen the try-line for a while either!"

Tickets are available today from the Tigers ticket office, or by calling 08701 28 34 30.