Leicester Tigers and Gloucester Rugby set the ball rolling on the second round of Gallagher Premiership action when two of the league’s oldest rivals meet at Kingsholm this evening (Friday, 7.45pm).
The clubs have met on 227 previous occasions with Tigers just one ahead on the win count after well over a century of rivalry. Friday’s meeting is the 51st between the teams in Premiership rugby.
Head coach Steve Borthwick brings Jack van Poortvliet and Eli Snyman into the Tigers line-up after starting on the bench in the Round 1 win over Exeter Chiefs at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, and Joe Heyes is included in the matchday squad for the first time since his England senior debut in the summer.
Matt Scott, who had two seasons at Gloucester from 2016 between two spells at Edinburgh, makes a first return to Kingsholm as a Tigers player.
“I loved playing in those Friday nights at Kingsholm,” said the Scotland international who made his Gloucester debut against Tigers at Kingsholm.
“I remember being part of Gloucester sides that felt we could beat anyone at home on a Friday night. I’ve never been back and played so I’m really looking forward to it while knowing just how tough it is going to be there.”
George Skivington, now in his second season as Gloucester head coach, includes fellow former Tigers trio Billy Twelvetrees, Ed Slater and Fraser Balmain in his starting line-up and Leicester academy graduate Jamal Ford-Robinson among the replacements.
“Leicester were very good against Exeter,” said Skivington. “They were a pretty rounded team at the weekend and were impressive to watch. There's challenges across the park for us."
Tigers won both fixtures against the Cherry and Whites last season, winning at Mattioli Woods Welford Road when Richard Wigglesworth scored a debut try on the opening weekend of the season and at Kingsholm in March.
The visitors will wear the club’s change kit of white, black and orange this weekend.
Referee is Tom Foley, in his 99th Premiership game in charge, with assistants Anthony Woodthorpe and Paul Dix. Wayne Barnes is the Television Match Official.
There is live coverage on BT Sport, or follow updates with the club’s Matchday Live service on app and website, or Tigers social media pages. There will be full reaction afterwards.