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Team news | Tigers versus Saints derby selection

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Steve Borthwick has named the Leicester Tigers line-up to take on Northampton Saints at Welford Road in Round 20 of the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season.

Club captain Tom Youngs returns to the team to lead the side from hooker, joining international props Facundo Gigena and Dan Cole in the front row.

Argentina international Tomás Lavanini partners Calum Green at lock, with Harry Wells, Luke Wallace and Hanro Liebenberg making up the back row.

Ben Youngs, in his 250th appearance for Leicester Tigers, will partner Zack Henry as the half-backs.

Scrum-half Youngs, in what will also be the Tigers academy graduate’s 200th starting appearance for the club, is one of two vice-captains alongside front-rower Cole.

Scotland international centre Matt Scott partners Guy Porter in the midfield.

Freddie Steward retains his place at full-back from the squad’s last outing at Welford Road and is joined in the Leicester back three by Fiji international pairing of Nemani Nadolo and Kini Murimurivalu on the wings.

Murimurivalu, who joined the squad for training this week after completing a fortnight-long quarantine, will make his Leicester Tigers debut.

Ellis Genge, who captained the side away to Wasps in midweek, is among the replacements and is joined by Charlie Clare and Nephi Leatigaga as front-row cover, with Thom Smith and Jordan Taufua the other forwards. Ben White, Johnny McPhillips and Harry Potter supply backline cover.

George Ford (lower limb) and Tommy Reffell (knee) were not considered for selection through injury.

Speaking about the side named, Borthwick said: "It will be great to see Kini [Murimurivalu] in a Leicester Tigers shirt this weekend as part of an exciting back three with Nemani [Nadolo] and Freddie Steward, a Tigers academy graduate who has done exceptionally well since the season resumed at the back for us.

"George Ford has taken a knock, so he is not available for selection. But, Zack has been developing his experience at fly-half in Premiership Rugby and this is another fantastic opportunity for him." 

Looking ahead to the derby game, his first as Tigers head coach, Borthwick added: "One of the strengths of this great sport we are involved in is the rivalries, rivalries that go back more than one hundred years. This is one ion those great rivalries.

"The great thing is we have got a challenge against Northampton on Sunday to look forward to … after a game like Wednesday night, you want to move on very quickly.

"We train as hard as we do to prepare to put ourselves in a position to win games. We need to ensure that the effort and intensity of which we operate is at that level we expect and the level expected by everyone at Leicester Tigers." 

The great thing is we have got a challenge against Northampton on Sunday to look forward to … after a game like Wednesday night, you want to move on very quickly

It will be great to see Kini [Murimurivalu] in a Leicester Tigers shirt this weekend as part of an exciting back three with Nemani and Freddie Steward, a Tigers academy graduate who has done exceptionally well since the season resumed.

"George has taken a knock, so he is not available for selection. Zack has been developing his experience at fly-half in Premiership Rugby and this is another fantastic opportunity for him.

"One of the strengths of this great sport is the rivalries -  rivalries that go back more than 100 years. This is one ion those great rivalries.

"We train as hard as we do to prepare to put ourselves in a position to win games. We need to ensure that the effort and intensity we operate is at that level we expect and the level expected by everyone at Leicester Tigers."

Leicester Tigers (v Northampton Saints, Welford Road, Sunday 2.00pm)

15 Freddie Steward

14 Kini Murimurivalu

13 Guy Porter

12 Matt Scott

11 Nemani Nadolo

10 Zack Henry

9 Ben Youngs (vc)

1 Facundo Gigena

2 Tom Youngs (c)

3 Dan Cole (vc)

4 Tomás Lavanini

5 Calum Green

6 Harry Wells

7 Luke Wallace

8 Hanro Liebenberg

Replacements:

16 Charlie Clare

17 Ellis Genge

18 Nephi Leatigaga

19 Thom Smith

20 Jordan Taufua

21 Ben White

22 Johnny McPhillips

23 Harry Potter

Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank, 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Alex Mitchell; 1 Francois van Wyk, 2 James Fish, 3 Owen Franks, 4 David Ribbans, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Lewis Ludlam, 8 Teimana Harrison (c). Reps: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun,18 Paul Hill, 19 Alex Moon, 20 Nick Isiekwe, 21 JJ Tonks, 22 Henry Taylor, 23 Fraser Dingwall