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Rugby News

Team news: Tigers at Saints

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International prop Dan Cole returns to the Leicester Tigers team for the East Midlands derby away to Northampton Saints this Saturday.

Cole, who went on his second tour with the British & Irish Lions to New Zealand in the summer, was used as a replacement in the opening-day fixture against Bath last Sunday and returns to the starting line-up this weekend, with Logovi’i Mulipola named on the bench.

Luke Hamilton comes into the forward pack, swapping places with Dominic Ryan in the back row, while Matt Smith is named at centre following injury to Manu Tuilagi in the only other change to the line-up from last week.

Head coach Matt O’Connor said: “Everyone enjoys derby day, the intensity around it is fantastic and hopefully it brings out the best in both sides.

“We had more than enough opportunities to win the game last week but we were inaccurate in parts and we have to rectify that. It was disappointing that we didn’t execute those chances to top off the work that had been done.

As well as Tuilagi, who faces 12 weeks out after surgery on a knee injury, Tigers are without George McGuigan (thumb), Adam Thompstone (neck) and Mike Fitzgerald (knee). Tom Brady, who missed the match against Bath last Sunday after picking up an injury in the pre-season fixture against the Ospreys, has returned to full training.

Leicester Tigers (v Northampton Saints, away, Saturday 4.30pm)

15 Telusa Veainu       

14 Nick Malouf

13 Matt Smith         

12 Matt Toomua        

11 Jonny May

10 George Ford         

9 Ben Youngs

1 Ellis Genge  

2 Tom Youngs (c)      

3 Dan Cole      

4 Dom Barrow

5 Graham Kitchener

6 Luke Hamilton

7 Brendon O’Connor

8 Sione Kalamafoni


16 Harry Thacker

17 Greg Bateman

18 Logovi’i Mulipola   

19 Mike Williams

20 Dominic Ryan

21 Sam Harrison

22 Joe Ford

23 Mathew Tait

Northampton Saints: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 George North, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Harry Mallinder, 9 Nic Groom; 1 Alex Waller, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Michael Paterson, 5 Christian Day, 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Jamie Gibson, 8 Teimana Harrison

Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Campese Ma’afu, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 James Grayson, 23 Ben Foden