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Match preview: Tigers versus Bristol

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Welford Road hosts a second successive home game - and a third successive Saturday afternoon fixture - when Leicester Tigers host Bristol Rugby this weekend.

A bonus-point win over Gloucester last weekend kept Tigers in the group of teams chasing a place in the top four and the Aviva Premiership semi-finals, while Bristol are trying to make up ground at the foot of the table in their first season back in the top flight of English club rugby.
The two clubs have met on 180 previous occasions, with Leicester winning 93 to 78 by the West Country side. This is the 84th meeting at Welford Road and a first in nearly 10 years.
The last meeting between the teams in Leicester was at the end of the 2008/09 campaign in a fixture held at the city’s football club during redevelopment work at Welford Road. Tom Varndell and Jordan Crane, now both Bristol players, were among the Tigers try-scorers on that day. Click here for the full details of that game.
Team news was announced on Friday lunchtime, with Tigers welcoming Telusa Veainu and JP Pietersen back from injury, while French international centre Maxime Mermoz makes his first start and there is a recall in the back row for Mike Williams.
Bristol include former Tigers players Crane, Rob Hawkins, Will Hurrell and Jamal Ford-Robinson, though Tom Varndell is ruled out by a foot injury.
Previewing the game, Tigers head coach Aaron Mauger said: “We had a couple of good weeks in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and came back to the Aviva Premiership with a good win last week. But there is still lots to work on and we have to raise the bar again.
“Bristol will back themselves and they’ll also be good for the scrap because they’re fighting for their place in the Premiership.”
Referee for Saturday is Thomas Foley, in charge of his 32nd Premiership fixture.
Kick-off is at 3pm and tickets are still available. Book at the Tigers ticket office. Call in at Welford Road or phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2)(open 9am-5pm Monday-Saturday) or click here to book online.
To find out what’s in store at Welford Road this weekend, click here for our full matchday guide.