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Lions return for Tigers trip to Harlequins

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British & Irish Lions duo Tom Croft and Harry Ellis return to the Leicester Tigers line-up for Saturday's Guinness Premiership trip to Harlequins.

After playing in the summer series in South Africa, Croft and Ellis were ruled out of the opening league fixture of the season last week as part of the agreed rest period, but resume their roles in the Tigers XV for the Twickenham Stoop fixture.

Head coach Richard Cockerill also makes changes in the backline as Dan Hipkiss is ruled out by a knee injury. Matt Smith moves to centre and last season’s top try-scorer Johne Murphy comes in on the wing.

Prop Robbie Harris is included in the matchday squad for the first time since his summer signing, and Aaron Mauger makes a return to the 23 after a back injury.

“The Lions boys are quality players and to have them back in the squad is a great boost for everybody,” said head coach Richard Cockerill.

“We start the season with two tough away games and we know we have to improve our game after the defeat at Sale Sharks last Friday.”

Toby Flood, Sam Vesty, Dan Hipkiss, Alesana Tuilagi, Lewis Moody, Dan Cole and Boris Stankovich are unavailable due to injury.

Leicester Tigers (v Harlequins, Twickenham Stoop, Saturday 3pm)
15 Geordan Murphy (captain)
14 Scott Hamilton
13 Matt Smith
12 Anthony Allen
11 Johne Murphy
10 Jeremy Staunton
9 Harry Ellis
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 George Chuter
3 Martin Castrogiovanni
4 Richard Blaze
5 Louis Deacon
6 Tom Croft
7 Ben Woods
8 Jordan Crane

16 Mefin Davies
17 Julian White
18 Robbie Harris
19 Craig Newby
20 Brett Deacon
21 Ben Youngs
22 Aaron Mauger
23 Billy Twelvetrees