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Team news: Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final

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Leicester Tigers welcome back six internationals to the starting line-up for Friday's Aviva Premiership semi-final against Northampton Saints.

After rotating the squad for the Round 22 win over Saracens at Welford Road last weekend, Tigers are able to recall Marcos Ayerza, Jordan Crane, Vereniki Goneva, Logovi’i Mulipola, and Ben and Tom Youngs for the trip to Franklin’s Gardens.
There are also places in the forward pack for captain Ed Slater, Julian Salvi and Jamie Gibson after sitting out last week, and Dan Bowden joins Tuilagi at centre, with Toby Flood at fly-half.
Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “We’ve come through 22 tough rounds of Aviva Premiership rugby, everyone has worked really hard, and we’ve shown a lot of resilience to get here. Now it comes down to 80 minutes on Friday for a place in the Final.
“Saints have had a very good season, they’ve been on good form, but we’ve been in decent form too and we will do our best to go there and try to win. It’s a local derby and a semi-final, it should be a heck of a game.”
After picking up knocks in last Saturday’s game at Welford Road and the decision to move this semi-final fixture to a Friday evening ahead of the European finals next weekend, Tigers players Geoff Parling, Rob Hawkins, Blaine Scully and Boris Stankovich are all unavailable for selection due to concussion protocols.
Tigers will wear the club’s white alternate kit at Northampton.
Tickets for Friday are now only available from Franklin’s Gardens.
Live coverage of the match will be shown in the Final Whistle at Welford Road. Admission is £2 which is redeemable against food or refreshments. Book at the Tigers ticket office.
The match is scheduled for live coverage by BT Sport.
Leicester Tigers (v Northampton Saints, away, Friday 7.45pm)
15 Mathew Tait
14 Niall Morris
13 Manusamoa Tuilagi
12 Dan Bowden
11 Vereniki Goneva
10 Toby Flood
9 Ben Youngs
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 Tom Youngs
3 Logovi’i Mulipola
4 Louis Deacon
5 Ed Slater (c)
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Julian Salvi
8 Jordan Crane
16 Neil Briggs
17 Tom Bristow
18 Fraser Balmain
19 Graham Kitchener
20 Steve Mafi
21 David Mele
22 Owen Williams
23 Adam Thompstone

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i; 1 Alex Waller, 2 Mike Haywood, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 4 Samu Manoa, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Tom Wood, 7 Phil Dowson (c), 8 Sam Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Christian Day, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 James Wilson, 23 Tom Stephenson