Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles
Rugby News

Preview | Tigers take on the champions

Figure image

Both teams welcome back players from the autumn international period as Leicester Tigers host Harlequins at a sell-out Matttioli Woods Welford Road on Sunday (3.00pm).

Club captain Ellis Genge and Argentina skipper Julián Montoya return to the Tigers front row, with Japer Wiese resuming at No8 after playing in all three Tests for South Africa in the autumn.

Freddie Steward, Ben Youngs and Matías Moroni come into the backline.

New England cap Nic Dolly is among the replacements and fellow front-rower Dan Cole makes his 200th Premiership appearance.

Reigning league champions Quins include England trio Joe Marler, Marcus Smith and Alex Dombrandt, while Scotland cap Huw Jones start his first Premiership fixture in the centres and wing Louis Lynagh plays for the first time since October as he returns from injury.

Tigers have won their last 11 matches since a 26-23 defeat at home to Bristol Bears in June, but have not won 12 in a row since 1996.

The 35-29 victory over Harlequins at Mattioli Woods Welford Road last May ended a four-game winless run against the Londoners.

That Round 19 clash produced five tries in the opening 25 minutes and Tigers led 29-12 at half-time with prop Genge scoring two of the tries, including the bonus-point score in the 40th minute.

Quins, though, had the better of the second half and trailed by just six points before Steve Borthwick’s men closed out the victory.

Their only win in their last seven visits to Leicester was in October 2020.

Dan Kelly, who joins Moroni at centre, said: “Harlequins are a team with big attacking threats and defence is going to be massive.

“It’s the same with anyone who come up against, you can’t control everything they do but you can try to influence it.

“Against those good players, it is a challenge but you have to meet it head-on.

“The lads are fit and looking good and playing well. We just need to kick on again and need to kick on forward.”

Overall the two clubs have met on 208 previous occasions with Tigers winning 116 to 82 by Quins and 10 games drawn.

Ahead of the trip to the East Midlands, Quins coach Nick Evans said: “We’re expecting a big challenge this week. We have talked about getting our mentality right and Leicester are top of the league for a reason, and we see this as an opportunity to bounce back from last week’s loss [against London Irish].

“They are a quality outfit and you expect Steve Borthwick to make sure their set-piece is right and he has brought that mentality of Leicester of old back.

“We are going to test ourselves against the best team in the competition and we have to create scenarios where we put them under stress and put our game on the park.”

Referee is Ian Tempest who approaching a century of gams in Premiership rugby.

Check out the Matchday Guide for all your need to know before you get to the stadium, including how you can pay tribute ahead of kick-off to some extraordinary achievements within the Tigers family in recent weeks.

Round 10 in full

Friday: Gloucester Rugby 27-10 Bristol Bears

Saturday: Exeter Chiefs v Saracens (3.00pm), London Irish v Newcastle Falcons (3.00pm), Northampton Saints v Bath Rugby (3.00pm), Worcester Warriors v Wasps (3.00pm)

Sunday: Leicester Tigers v Harlequins (3.00pm)