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Rugby News

Team news: Racing 92 versus Tigers

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Graham Kitchener returns from injury as Leicester Tigers launch a 21st season of involvement in European competition against Racing 92 in Paris on Saturday.

Telusa Veainu and Ben Youngs also return for the opening fixture in Pool 4 of the European Champions Cup after their late withdrawal through illness for last week’s league win at London Irish.

Ellis Genge, Tom Youngs, Mike Williams, Luke Hamilton and Matt Smith all return to the starting line-up, while Nick Malouf makes his European Cup debut after three tries in his first six appearances for the club.

Scrum-half Ben White is included in the squad after Sam Harrison was withdrawn at half-time due to injury in the win at London Irish and back-rower Brendon O’Connor returns from a hamstring injury to join the squad for the first time since the league visit to Northampton last month.

“We made the decision to rest a couple of bodies last week because we’d had some big, physical games in the Aviva Premiership,” said head coach Matt O’Connor.

“There are a lot of quality sides in this tournament and every game is massive. You know how hard the games are going to be and how tight the pools are, which makes every game, every involvement and every point extremely important along the way.”

Leicester Tigers (v Racing 92, away, Saturday 4.15pm local time/3.15pm UK time)

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 Mike Williams

7 Luke Hamilton

8 Sione Kalamafoni


16 George McGuigan

17 Greg Bateman

18 Pat Cilliers

19 Dan Tuohy

20 Brendon O’Connor

21 Ben White

22 Joe Ford

23 Mathew Tait

Racing 92: 15 Juan Imhoff, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Teddy Iribaren; 1 Viliamu Afatia, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski (c), 3 Census Johnston, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 8 Yannick Nyanga
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Edwin Maka, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Patrick Lambie, 23 Anthony Tuitavke