2014 was the last time Leicester Tigers won at Sandy Park, home of the Exeter Chiefs. It’s a dismal run of defeats but one Tigers are more than capable of ending when they meet on Sunday.
Both sides have their international players available again. With Tigers keen to secure a home semi-final in the play-offs, and the Chiefs having plenty of work to do still to guarantee a spot in the top four, both teams selecting strong sides was inevitable.
📺 Kick off is 3pm on Sunday 27 March and the game is live on BT Sport.
Tigers won 34–19 the last time the sides met at Welford Road back in September, but it is likely to be a tougher challenge this time around. If Leicester can pull off the win, it’ll be their 17th of the season. That would be their highest tally of wins in a season since the 2001/2002 campaign.
💬 Speaking about the game, head coach Steve Borthwick had this to say:
Exeter are very good side, who have been the benchmark of the league for a number of years now. We know it will be a big challenge, against a team who will be looking to continue their recent run of good form at home. They have a brilliant squad who have not only played a lot of rugby together but also achieved a lot of success together as a group.
Here are the official line-ups.
🏉 LEICESTER TIGERS
Forwards: 1) Ellis Genge © 2) Julián Montoya 3) Joe Heyes 4) Harry Wells 5) Eli Snyman 6) Ollie Chessum 7) Hanro Liebenberg 8) Jasper Wiese
Backs: 9) Ben Youngs 10) George Ford 11) Nemani Nadolo 12) Dan Kelly 13) Guy Porter 14) Chris Ashton 15) Freddie Steward
Replacements: 16) Nic Dolly 17) James Whitcombe 18) Nephi Leatigaga 19) Calum Green 20) Tommy Reffell 21) Jack van Poortvliet 22) Freddie Burns 23) Matías Moroni
🏉 EXETER CHIEFS
Forwards: 1) Alec Hepburn 2) Jack Innard 3) Harry Williams 4) Richard Capstick 5) Jonny Gray 6) Dave Ewers 7) Jacques Vermeulen 8) Sam Simmonds
Backs: 9) Sam Maunde 10) Joe Simmonds © 11) Facundo Cordero 12) Ian Whitten 13) Henry Slade 14) Olly Woodburn 15) Josh Hodge
Replacements: 16) Jack Yeandle 17) Billy Keast 18) Patrick Schickerling 19) Will Witty 20) Santiago Grondona 21) Jack Maunder 22) Harvey Skinner 23) Facundo Cordero
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald & Jonathan Healy
TMO: Dean Richards
Citing Officer: Andy Blyth
Tigers bringing back all their England stars straight into the starting line-up is no surprise. There’s a bye week in the next round of the Premiership which means we can rest players after Sunday’s game.
There are pros and cons to bringing everyone back though. Brilliant as George Ford was before he went away with England, Freddie Burns has been doing a great job for us at 10. And after Ford got so little game time with England, there’s a risk he’s a little rusty. That said, his familiarity with Ben Youngs, who starts at 9, will help. And considering the experience the two of them have, there’s probably no need for too much worrying!
Ellis Genge was England’s best player during the Six Nations. Though James Whitcombe has deputised brilliantly in his absence, having Genge back is a real boost. He offers so much all around the pitch and is a constant menace.
Having the quality of Freddie Steward and Ollie Chessum returning should lift the side too. Hopefully, despite not playing a lot, the England experience will have added more layers to Chessum’s game. Excited to see what he brings to the mix during the latter part of the season.
When Borthwick announced the side to play Saracen’s earlier this month, there was a sense of him holding something back. Sunday’s side to take on the Chiefs feels different. It is all in. He wants a win.
Thanks for reading,
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