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Rugby News

Team news: Tigers at London Irish

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Leicester Tigers will hand club debuts to Gareth Owen and Dan Tuohy in Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Round 6 clash against London Irish.

Former Scarlets centre Owen makes his Aviva Premiership bow after playing in three rounds of the Premiership ‘A’ League since his summer move to Tigers, while on-loan second-rower Tuohy also comes into the starting line-up.

George McGuigan and Sam Harrison are given a first start of the season, with Will Evans making his first appearance of the season alongside Tonga international duo Sione Kalamafoni and Valentino Mapapalangi in the back row.

Fly-half George Ford captains Tigers for the first time, with club skipper Tom Youngs named among the replacements.

Tigers go to the Madejski Stadium on the back of three successive league victories and head coach Matt O’Connor said: “The win was important against Exeter last week but there is still scope for the performance to be better and it is important that we aim up again.

“We’ve had some really entertaining but tough games at Irish and we have to back-up all the good things we did last Saturday.”

Ellis Genge returns to the squad after his late withdrawal due to a back spasm last Saturday and is among five senior internationals named on the bench. Fellow prop Pat Cilliers is included for the first time this season on his return to fitness after a groin injury.

Leicester Tigers (v London Irish, away, Saturday 3.00pm)

15 Telusa Veainu

14 Nick Malouf

13 Gareth Owen

12 Matt Toomua

11 Jonny May

10 George Ford (c)

9 Sam Harrison

1 Greg Bateman

2 George McGuigan

3 Dan Cole

4 Dan Tuohy

5 Dom Barrow

6 Sione Kalamafoni

7 Will Evans

8 Valentino Mapapalangi



16 Tom Youngs

17 Ellis Genge

18 Pat Cilliers

19 Harry Wells

20 Luke Hamilton

21 Ben Youngs

22 Joe Ford

23 Mathew Tait

London Irish: 15 Tommy Bell, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 12 Greig Tonks, 11 Topsy Ojo, 10 James Marshall, 9 Ben Meehan; 1 Ben Franks, 2 David Paice (c), 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 4 Franco van der Merwe, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Josh McNally, 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Jake Schatz

Replacements: 16 Todd Gleave, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Teofilo Paulo, 20 Lasha Lomidze, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Theo Brophy Clews, 23 Tom Fowlie