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Rugby News

Preview | Tigers go to The Exiles in Cup semi-final

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Leicester Tigers and London Irish meet for the fourth time in six months on Tuesday evening, this time in the semi-finals of the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Tigers go to Brentford after topping Pool 2 in qualifying, while Irish finished on top of Pool 3, both teams registering three wins from four games.

Brett Deacon leads the Tigers coaching group in this competition and the matchday squad includes 18 players who made their debut for the club this season, including two members of the Under-18 Academy programme.

Jack van Poortvliet captains the team for a third time in the tournament, with Juan Pablo Socino, Kini Murimurivalu and Bryce Hegarty providing experience in the backline. James Whitcombe and Nephi Leatigaga return in the front row.

Sean Jansen, the 22-year-old back-rower, made his debut in this competition against Newcastle last month after arriving from North Otago, and said: “It’s been awesome to have an opportunity here, this is another chance for me to put on the jersey and show what I’ve got.

“The players and the coaches have been great in helping me since I got here and I’ve just been taking it week by week, trying to improve and learn.”

Irish boss Declan Kidney includes former Tigers half-backs Ben White and Noel Reid in his starting line-up, with Steve Mafi among the replacements.

“This is an exciting prospect for everyone involved,” said the Exiles’ director of rugby.

“There is a place in the Final up for grabs, and I know both sets of players will be desperate to get there.”

Tigers have played in six previous semi-finals in the Anglo-Welsh/Premiership Rugby Cup, winning four, including away to Bath in 2012 and Saracens in 2017.

This is the team’s third trip to the Brentford Community Stadium, winning 21-16 there in the Gallagher Premiership earlier this season after a 22-9 defeat on a first visit in November 2020.

Tigers will be in change colours of white, black and orange.

Referee is Mr Andrew Jackson.

There is live coverage of the game with BT Sport.

You can also keep up to date with the Tigers’ Matchday Live service on app and website, and the club’s social media pages, including full post-match reaction.

If scores are level after 80 minutes, semi-finals will be settled by extra-time and, if still level, a place-kicking competition.

The Premiership Rugby Cup Final is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18.

Semi-final line-up

Tuesday: London Irish v Leicester Tigers (7.45pm)

Wednesday: Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors (7.45pm)