Match Preview: Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby

Match Preview: Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby

Leicester Tigers welcome Gloucester Rugby to Mattioli Woods Welford Road with a chance at immediate revenge following the Premiership Rugby Cup final.

The Cherry & Whites emerged victorious last Friday night at Kingsholm to take home the first silverware of the season.

But as the sides prepare to face off once again a week on, Tigers know that they cannot afford a repeat.

Currently in a titanic battle to make the top four, Tigers welcome back England internationals Freddie Steward, Dan Cole and Ollie Chessum to the starting line-up, as well as in-form Wales flanker Tommy Reffell.

Most notable, though, is the return on the bench of Jack van Poortvliet, set for his first appearance of the season after injury has kept him out since England’s World Cup build-up.

For Gloucester, Santiago Carreras is back at fly-half, partnering Stephen Varney in the half-backs, with the No.9 having helped Italy to a record-breaking Six Nations campaign including victory in Cardiff last weekend.

TV: Live on TNT Sports, kick-off 7.45pm

Referee: Matthew Carley

Assistant Referees: Hamish Smales, Jamie Leahy

TMO: David Rose

Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Josh Bassett, 13 Dan Kelly, 12 Solomone Kata, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ben Youngs, 1 James Cronin, 2 Julián Montoya, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Ollie Chessum, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Jasper Wiese

Replacements: 16 Finn Theobald-Thomas, 17 James Whitcombe, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Kyle Hatherell, 20 Olly Cracknell, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Jamie Shillcock, 23 Phil Cokanasiga

Gloucester Rugby: 5 Lloyd Evans, 14 Jonny May, 13 Max Llewellyn, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Josh Hathaway, 10 Santi Carreras, 9 Stephen Varney, 1 Mayco Vivas, 2 Seb Blake, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 4 Freddie Clarke, 5 Cam Jordan, 6 Ruan Ackermann (C), 7 Jack Clement, 8 Zach Mercer

Replacements: 16 Adam McBurney, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Arthur Clark, 20 Freddie Thomas, 21 Albert Tuisue, 22 Charlie Chapman, 23 Chris Harris


Oval Insights

Leicester Tigers

· In Round 12, Jasper Wiese made more carries than any other player (24). His total of 157 carries so far this season is the highest in the league.

· Ollie Hassell-Collins made four clean breaks in the last round of Premiership rugby – more than any other player. He also beat seven defenders and assisted a try.

· Hanro Liebenberg has competed for the ball in attacking lineouts more than any other player (53). He has taken 51 of these with a clean catch.

· Leicester Tigers have the best rate of goalkicking success in the Premiership. Handre Pollard has scored the fourth-most points (74) and has the best goalkicking success rate among the top five point-scorers (83.8%).

Gloucester Rugby

· Matias Alemanno has stolen the joint-most lineouts in the Premiership (six).

· 55.3% of Gloucester’s touches this season have been passes – a higher percentage than any other team.

· Gloucester have the highest rate of carry dominance in the Premiership: 28.9% of their carries this season have been dominant.

· Gloucester have made the second-fewest kicks in play so far this season, an average of 30 per 80 minutes.

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