Five England stars return for Tigers

Five England stars return for Tigers

Leicester Tigers welcome back five of their England internationals for Friday’s home game against derby rivals Northampton Saints in Round 17 of the Premiership season.


 

Manu Tuilagi, making his first appearance since agreeing a new contract at the club, is joined in the starting line-up by England colleagues Jonny May, George Ford, Ellis Genge and Dan Cole on their return from Six Nations duties.

 

Ben Youngs is rested after taking a knock on England duty and Wales cap Jonah Holmes is also unavailable for the first Gallagher Premiership fixture since the end of the Six Nations. But Tigers do welcome back Brendon O’Connor and Sam Harrison after injury. Guy Thompson lines up at No8 in the absence of Sione Kalamafoni who starts a three-game ban following his red card against Sale Sharks in Round 16.

 

Matt Toomua and Gareth Owen also return from injury and are included among the replacements.

 

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “It’s great to have those senior players back, they’re all in good spirits and they’re quality players. They enjoyed their time away but now they’re anxious to get back and contribute.

 

“Derby day is always huge, this is always one of the biggest games of the year.”

Leicester Tigers (Northampton Saints, Welford Road, Friday 7.45pm)

15 Jordan Olowofela

14 Sam Aspland-Robinson

13 Manu Tuilagi

12 Kyle Eastmond

11 Jonny May

10 George Ford

9 Sam Harrison

1 Ellis Genge

2 Tom Youngs (c)

3 Dan Cole

4 Will Spencer

5 Graham Kitchener

6 Mike Williams

7 Brendon O’Connor

8 Guy Thompson

Replacements

16 Jake Kerr

17 Facundo Gigena

18 Joe Heyes

19 Harry Wells

20 Mike Fitzgerald

21 Ben White

22 Matt Toomua

23 Gareth Owen

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