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Team news | New Look Leicester Tigers side for Prem return

Steve Borthwick has included four of the club’s recent additions in his debut Leicester Tigers matchday squad to travel to take on Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park in Round 14 of the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season on Saturday.

The Tigers head coach has named an all-international front-row of Ellis Genge, Tom Youngs and Dan Cole to take on the Chiefs.

Youngs, in his 150th start and 190th appearance for the club, will captain the side from hooker.

In the second row, Argentina international Tomás Lavanini is partnered by Calum Green, with Harry Wells included at blindside flanker.

Tommy Reffell, who recently re-signed with Tigers, starts at openside and Jordan Taufua completes the Leicester pack at No8.

England internationals Ben Youngs and George Ford are the half-backs, with fly-half Ford named vice-captain for the trip to Sandy Park.

Scotland international Matt Scott will make his Tigers debut after his move from Edinburgh and is partnered in the midfield by South Africa international Jaco Taute.

David Williams, on loan from Championship club Nottingham Rugby, is included on the wing and will make his senior debut for the club.

The 24-year-old graduated from the Tigers Academy in 2014 and has previously represented Leicester in the ‘A’ League and Premierships Sevens.

Fellow Academy graduates Jordan Olowofela and George Worth make up the back three.

New recruits Luke Wallace and Zack Henry are in line for their club debuts after being named among the replacements, with 20-year-old back-rower Thom Smith facing a Premiership debut after two previous appearances in the Cup.

Internationals Jake Kerr and Nephi Leatigaga are joined on the bench by Joe Heyes as front-row replacements, with Hanro Liebenberg and Ben White also included. 

Speaking ahead of the trip to Exeter, Borthwick said: “Everybody is excited by this opportunity to get back on the field tomorrow.

“They’re a very, very good side and have been a contender at the top of the table for a long time now.

“We have got to go there and put out the best performance we possibly can.

“That’s what we have been working towards, focusing very much on ourselves and developing our game.”

Discussing his debut side, the Tigers head coach added: “I think it’s an exciting team. I think what is pleasing to see is how many academy graduates are part of this matchday squad.

“They know Leicester, they love representing Leicester and I think that is something that has come across very strong to me; how much these players want to make our supporters very proud of this team.”

MATCH DETAILS:

Exeter Chiefs v Leicester Tigers
Saturday, August 15
Kick-off: 2.00pm
Round 14, Gallagher Premiership 2019/20

STARTING XV:

15 George Worth

14 David Williams

13 Jaco Taute

12 Matt Scott

11 Jordan Olowofela

10 George Ford (vc)

9 Ben Youngs

1 Ellis Genge

2 Tom Youngs (c)

3 Dan Cole

4 Tomás Lavanini

5 Calum Green

6 Harry Wells

7 Tommy Reffell

8 Jordan Taufua

REPLACEMENTS:

16 Jake Kerr

17 Nephi Leatigaga

18 Joe Heyes

19 Hanro Liebenberg

20 Luke Wallace

21 Thom Smith

22 Ben White

23 Zack Henry

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tom O’Flaherty, 13 Henry Slade,12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds (c), 9 Jack Maunder; 1 Alec Hepburn,2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3 Harry Williams, 4 Jonny Gray, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Dave Ewers, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 8 Sam Simmonds

Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Don Armand, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Ian Whitten