In some respects, the best club teams in England and Ireland facing off is deserving of a semi-final or even a final. Instead it’s the quarter-finals of the European Heineken Champions Cup where they meet at Welford Road this Saturday.
Leinster bring a team packed with internationals. It really isn’t far off being the full Ireland international side!
As a result, Leinster deservedly go into the game as favourites. But Tigers aren’t short of their own collection of international players. And if Tigers’ forward pack can get on top, along with winning the kicking battle (in the way Saracens and La Rochelle did in recent years) then the game might not go in the direction the bookmakers expect.
📺 Kick off is 5.30pm on Saturday 7 May, and the game is live on BT Sport.
Head coach Steve Borthwick has picked a side almost identical to the one that smashed Bristol last weekend. The backline is unchanged; in the forwards Ollie Chessum returns from suspension to push Harry Wells to the bench. Chris Ashton’s try-scoring heroics against Bristol have helped him keep his starting position, leaving Nemani Nadolo to play the role of impact substitute.
Tigers fans will be delighted to see George Martin back in a match-day squad for the first time in a couple of months. What a game to come back for!
💬 Steve Borthwick had this to say ahead of Saturday’s game:
Leinster are a very good side, with world-class players throughout their squad who have a great understanding of one another and the way they play. This is a group that have been together a long time, played a lot of rugby together for Leinster and, most of them, at international level with Ireland. It will be an incredible challenge, but what a great opportunity for us against a team of their quality and what a great test.
Here are the official line-ups.
🏉 LEICESTER TIGERS
Forwards: 1) Ellis Genge © 2) Julián Montoya 3) Dan Cole 4) Ollie Chessum 5) Calum Green 6) Hanro Liebenberg 7) Tommy Reffell 8) Jasper Wiese
Backs: 9) Ben Youngs 10) George Ford 11) Harry Potter 12) Guy Porter 13) Matías Moroni 14) Chris Ashton 15) Freddie Steward
Replacements: 16) Nic Dolly 17) James Whitcombe 18) Joe Heyes 19) Harry Wells 20) George Martin 21) Richard Wigglesworth 22) Freddie Burns 23) Nemani Nadolo
Forwards: 1) Andrew Porter 2) Rónan Kelleher 3) Tadhg Furlong 4) Ross Molony 5) James Ryan 6) Caelan Doris 7) Josh van der Flier 8) Jack Conan
Backs: 9) Jamison Gibson-Park 10) Johnny Sexton © 11) James Lowe 12) Robbie Henshaw 13) Garry Ringrose 14) Jimmy O’Brien 15) Hugo Keenan
Replacements: 16) Dan Sheehan 17) Cian Healy 18) Michael Ala’alatoa 19) Joe McCarthy 20) Rhys Ruddock 21) Luke McGrath 22) Ross Byrne 23) Tommy O’Brien
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Thomas Charabas (France) & Laurent Cardona (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France) Thanks for reading,
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