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Rugby News

Preview | Tigers return to Cup trail

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Leicester Tigers are at Premiership Rugby Cup rivals Saracens in an early afternoon kick-off this Saturday (1.00pm).

Back-rower Sean Jansen captains Tigers for the first time, with fly-half Charlie Atkinson given his first start for the team since his arrival from Wasps.

The withdrawal of both Wasps and Worcester Warriors since the opening rounds leaves some question marks around the format of the competition, but it still provides important experience for a number of young players in each camp.

Senior Academy squad member Emeka Ilione starts in the back row for Tigers and said: “At the start of the year I just wanted to get more opportunity to train with the first team and just to be around the environment.

“That is going well, I’m spending much more time with the first team and being integrated more in the group, allowing me to work with them – guys like George, Hanro, Olly, Jasper, Tommy – which can only be good for my development.”

Joseph Woodward and Joshua Manz are among the other academy graduates in the starting line-up, with experience added by Hosea Saumaki, Eli Snyman and Tom Cowan-Dickie.

Saracens name a young team which includes a debut for centre Olly Hartley, who has already played and scored against Tigers for Wasps in the tournament this season. Tighthead prop Christian Judge adds experience to the front row, with former Worcester Warriors lock Andrew Kitchener also included in the forward pack.

The two clubs have met on 95 previous occasions, but just once before in this version of the Premiership Cup, with Saracens recording a 29-21 triumph at home in October 2018.

Last season Tigers won three of their five games in the tournament, being knocked out in the semi-final stage at London Irish.

Tigers will be in the club’s change kit of red shirts and white shorts on Saturday.

If you are not attending the game, you can follow the action with updates on the Matchday Live coverage on the club’s website and app, or on the Tigers social media channels.