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Preview | Tigers in midweek trip to Wasps

Leicester Tigers begin derby week with a visit to one of the form teams in the Gallagher Premiership in Round 19 on Wednesday (5.30pm).

Hosts Wasps have lost just once in the last eight rounds – against Sale Sharks in August – during a climb into the top-four places under new coach Lee Blackett, while Tigers follow up with a home game against Northampton Saints on Sunday (2.00pm).

Tigers have lost just one of the last four meetings with Wasps, with the defeat (35-41) coming on away soil in September 2018 when Will Spencer was red-carded in the fist half.

The only win in seven previous visits to the Ricoh Arena was on their first trip in May 2015 when tries were scored by Jordan Crane and Niall Morris.  

Tigers won the opening meeting this season, back in February, just before the COVID-19 closedown.

Looking ahead to the game, director of rugby Geordan Murphy said: “Wasps have been very impressive, they have some strong attacking players behind a pack that gets them quality ball. They deserve to be respected but we’re excited to go there.”

Ellis Genge captains Tigers for the first time on Wednesday, while Cameron Henderson and Dan Kelly, two recent additions to the squad, make their first starting appearances for the club.

Former Leicester prop Kieran Brookes returns from a shoulder injury to start in the Wasps front row while Tigers academy graduate Jacob Umaga is at fly-half.

Wasps also include 19-year-old Alfie Barbeary at blindside flanker for his first Premiership start while new signing Levi Douglas is named as a replacement. England lock Joe Launchbury makes his 150th first-team appearance in the forward pack.

The clubs have met on 105 previous occasions, with Tigers leading 62-38 on win count, with five draws.

Wasps head into the midweek round in fourth place in the table, one point ahead of fifth-placed Bath who host Worcester Warriors on Wednesday.

Referee on Wednesday is Karl Dickson, who was also in charge of the Tigers’ home game against London Irish in Round 15.

Tigers will wear the club’s fluoro red 2019/20 alternate kit.

Keep in touch with all of the action with the Tigers’ Matchday Live service on the club app. There is also live coverage with BT Sport 1.