Premiership: Leicester Tigers v Gloucester

premiership leicester tigers v gloucester - Premiership: Leicester Tigers v Gloucester
Sione Kalamafoni starts his first game for Leicester since returning from World Cup duty with Tonga
Gallagher Premiership
Venue: Welford Road Date: Saturday, 2 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT Coverage: Updates on BBC local radio and live scores on the BBC Sport website

Tonga duo Telusa Veainu and Sione Kalamafoni both start following World Cup duty as winless Leicester make nine changes for the visit of Gloucester.

Only wing Jonah Holmes and fly-half Noel Reid remain in the backline, while captain Tom Youngs returns and prop Nephi Leatigaga makes his first start.

Props Josh Hohneck and Fraser Balmain and back-row duo Jake Polledri and Ben Morgan all come in for Gloucester.

Matt Banahan starts on the right wing with Tom Marshall moving to full-back.

Ed Slater will captain the visitors, who have won both their opening two Premiership games, against his former club, who have lost both of theirs.

Academy graduates Andy Forsyth, Tom Hardwick and Jordan Olowofela also come into the Leicester backline with Sam Harrison starting at scrum-half, while Argentine lock Tomás Lavanini will make his return from the bench.

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy:

“We picked up a few knocks last week, but we’ve got players putting their hands up to be given an opportunity.

“It’s great to have Telusa and Sione back from the World Cup. You want all of your international players to make an impact and express what they can do.

“Tomás Lavanini has come in this week and we’ve been getting him up to speed in training. He’s a very good player and we wanted him involved as soon as we could.”

Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann:​​

“There’s no easy side in this competition and the biggest mistake we could make is to underestimate Leicester by how they’ve started the season.

“They’re a tough side, they’ve got a great set-piece, good scrum, good maul, good pack of forwards.

“We haven’t won there for a long time which shows you what a tough place it is. But we are building a new legacy and want to change things around.”

Leicester Tigers: Veainu; Holmes, Forsyth, Hardwick, Olowofela; Reid, Harrison; Bateman, Youngs (capt), Leatigaga, Wells, Green, Liebenberg, Thompson, Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Polota-Nau, Gigena, Heyes, Lavanini, Boladau, White, Worth, Thompstone.

Gloucester: Marshall, Banahan, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Thorley, Cipriani, Simpson; Hohneck, Marais, Balmain, Slater (capt), Grobler, Ackermann, Polledri, Morgan.

Replacements: Fourie, Ruskin, Ford-Robinson, Clarke, Ludlow, Braley, Harris, Woodward.

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