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Rugby News

Preview | Tigers and Sharks meet again

Leicester Tigers face Sale Sharks for a third time in three months on Sunday in Round 14 of the Gallagher Premiership season.

The teams met for the first time in late-October, with Tigers recording a 19-11 victory thanks to a try from Hanro Liebenberg and 14 points from fly-half George Ford, then met again in the Premiership Rugby Cup three weeks later, with the hosts winning 32-23 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

The third meeting is at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday, where Sharks have lost just once in any competition since last February.

Tigers have also lost on five of their last six visits, though they travel with six away wins on their record so far in the league season.

Both teams are without England players for the build-up to the Six Nations next weekend, and in selection news announced on Friday, Freddie Burns joins Richard Wigglesworth as the Tigers half-backs, while Hanro Liebenberg returns to the matchday squad to join loan signing Olly Robinson among the replacements.

Burns, who replaces England squad member George Ford at fly-half, said: “It’s exciting to be involved, and I’m happy for Fordy, his form has been outstanding for us, he fully deserves that call-up.

“From a selfish point of view, it is going to be great to get some gametime and hopefully I can contribute to a good team performance.

“You can never put your feet up and say you know the game inside out, you always keep leaerning as a player.

“Sale are a hugely physical team. They’re a quality team, they all buy in to each other and we’ll need a big performance.”

While Tigers had a declared win in Europe last weekend following the cancellation of the home game against Bordeaux-Bègles, Sharks scored seven tries in a 49-10 win over the Ospreys to guarantee a place in the last 16 of the Champions Cup where they will meet English rivals Bristol Bears in April. 

Sale include Tom Roebuck, scorer of two tries against the Ospreys, in their starting line-up and also welcome back internationals Coenie Oosthuizen and Byron McGuigan.

Referee is Craig Maxwell-Keys, in charge for a 106th time in Premiership rugby.

If you are not attending the game, there is live coverage on BT Sport 1HD and also on ITV/ITV HD at the start of the channel’s new agreement with Premiership Rugby.

Or follow the club’s Matchday Live service on the website and app from 2.30pm and see full reaction afterwards on the Tigers website and social media pages.