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Rugby News

Team News | Tigers side to play Saracens

Steve Borthwick has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad for Saturday’s away game against Saracens in Round 19 of the Gallagher Premiership season.

George Ford returns to Premiership action to captain the team, with scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet named vice-captain for a second successive fixture.

Ellis Genge, Freddie Steward and Ben Youngs are ineligible for selection after spending the week in camp with England as the national side prepare for the final fortnight of this year’s Six Nations

"This is an exciting challenge for us, up against a squad of their calibre and experience"

Up front, Borthwick has a new-look front-row with props James Whitcombe and Joe Heyes included alongside hooker Nic Dolly.

Eli Snyman and Calum Green are the second-row pairing, while Ollie Chessum is included in the back row with Tommy Reffell and George Martin.

Chessum, who will make his first club appearance in six weeks, is one of three Tigers – with Ford and Heyes – released from the national squad for the trip to Saracens.

Charlie Clare, Francois van Wyk and Nephi Leatigaga are the front-rowers on the Tigers bench, with Harry Wells and Jasper Wiese the remaining forwards named among the replacements.

This week’s captain and vice-captain, Ford and van Poortvliet, are the starting half-backs, while Matt Scott and Matías Moroni are named together in the Leicester midfield for just the second time this season.

In the Tigers back-three, Kini Murimurivalu returns after a six-week spell on the sidelines, with Harry Potter on the other wing and Freddie Burns is the full-back.

Richard Wigglesworth, Guy Porter and Nemani Nadolo are the replacement backs.

Previewing Saturday’s game, Borthwick said: “This is an exciting challenge for us, up against a squad of their calibre and experience.

“I am certain too that the return of Mark McCall this week, which is fantastic to see, has been a big boost to the players, coaches and entire club.

“Saracens have been the benchmark in English and European rugby for some time now and, in particular this group, have achieved a lot of success together for more than a decade."

15 Freddie Burns [91]
14 Harry Potter [31]
13 Matías Moroni [24]
12 Matt Scott [41]
11 Kini Murimurivalu [32]
10 George Ford (c) [118]
9 Jack van Poortvliet (vc) [39]
1 James Whitcombe [16]
2 Nic Dolly [17]
3 Joe Heyes [90]
4 Eli Snyman [13]
5 Calum Green [80]
6 Ollie Chessum [22]
7 Tommy Reffell [67]
8 George Martin [33]

16 Charlie Clare [42]
17 Francois van Wyk [11]
18 Nephi Leatigaga [59]
19 Harry Wells [145]
20 Jasper Wiese [33]
21 Richard Wigglesworth [29]
22 Guy Porter [35]
23 Nemani Nadolo [28]

SARACENS XV: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Alex Goode, 9 Aled Davies; 1 Mako Vunipola (c), 2 Tom Woolstencroft, 3 Vincent Koch, 4 Callum Hunter-Hill, 5 Tim Swinson, 6 Andy Christie, 7 Jackson Wray, 8 Billy Vunipola

Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Theo McFarland, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Rotimi Segun