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Rugby News

Preview | Tigers versus Bristol Bears

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Leicester Tigers host a first Gallagher Premiership home game for seven weeks when Bristol Bears come to Mattioli Woods Welford Road this afternoon (Saturday).

Both teams have just three games remaining in the regular league season as they meet at the home of the Tigers in Round 24.

Bristol were the last visitors to record a win at Tigers, with a 26-23 triumph at the end of last season, though Leicester did win the first meeting this season with a late score from Guy Porter proving decisive in a 28-26 victory at Ashton Gate.

Porter returns from a ban to start in the Tigers backline this weekend, with head coach Steve Borthwick naming Ellis Genge, Julián Montoya and Dan Cole in the starting front row. Tommy Reffell and Jasper Wiese also return in the forward pack.

Former Tigers hooker Harry Thacker starts in the Bristol front row in his 100th Premiership appearance. Henry Purdy, another Tigers Academy graduate, is recalled in the backline.

Callum Sheedy makes his 100th start for the visitors and Joe Joyce reaches 150.

“I think they’re a very good team,” said Tigers’ Freddie Burns. “You watch the Saracens game at Tottenham and they showed what a threat they are, and they backed that up against Gloucester last week as well.

“They are a dangerous team and we’ve prepared with utmost respect for them.”

Overall the two clubs have met on 188 previous occasions with Leicester winning 96 to 83 by Bristol and nine games drawn.

Referee is Karl Dickson, who was last in charge of Tigers for the league game against London Irish last month. It is his 61st Premiership match in charge.

Former club captain Tom Youngs will lead out Tigers for a final time at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Click here for the Matchday Guide and everything you need to know if you are joining us on matchday.

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