Tigers had a bye week in the Premiership last week. The timing was good for Leicester. Their international players got some well-earned recovery time. But it also gave the squad a chance to fully focus on their Heineken Champions Cup double-header with Clermont.
We’re now getting towards the business end of the season. Games suddenly have more pressure on them. This is now knockout rugby. Tigers have the advantage of the away leg being first, but there are no easy games away in France. Clermont away will be as tough a challenge as Tigers have faced all season.
In the seven previous Heineken Champions Cup encounters between the clubs, the home side have come out on top six times. Tigers will no doubt take encouragement from the fact that it was them who were the one anomaly and look to add to it.
📺 Kick off is 3.15pm on Sunday 10 April, and the game is live on BT Sport.
As expected, Tigers have picked a strong side. It has the look, injuries aside, of a first-choice 15. Borthwick is holding nothing back and this feels like a side picked to go and grab an away win in the first-leg.
Tigers fans will be pleased to see the return to the match-day squad of prop Dan Cole after injury. He starts on the bench, but his return will be invaluable as the season closes in. George Ford being able to start is good news too, and lays to rest any fears of his injury against Exeter being significant.
🗣 Speaking about the match, head coach Steve Borthwick said:
Clermont are an excellent side with a great balance throughout their team. They have a big, powerful forward pack with a very good scrum, very good maul and experienced half backs who boss a game really well, controlling things, and electric pace and power out wide in a dangerous backline.
Here are the official line-ups.
🏉 LEICESTER TIGERS
Forwards: 1) Ellis Genge © 2) Julián Montoya 3) Joe Heyes 4) Ollie Chessum 5) Calum Green 6) Hanro Liebenberg 7) Tommy Reffell 8) Jasper Wiese
Backs: 9) Ben Youngs 10) George Ford 11) Hosea Saumaki 12) Dan Kelly 13) Guy Porter 14) Harry Potter 15) Freddie Steward
Replacements: 16) Nic Dolly 17) James Whitcombe 18) Dan Cole 19) Harry Wells 20) Eli Snyman 21) Jack van Poortvliet 22) Freddie Burns 23) Matías Moroni
🏉 ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE
Forwards: 1) Giorgi Beria 2) Etienne Fourcade 3) Rabah Slimani 4) Paul Jedrasiak 5) Sébastien Vahaamahina 6) Judicaël Cancoriet 7) Alexandre Fischer 8) Fritz Lee
Backs: 9) Morgan Parra 10) Camille Lopez 11) Cheik Tiberghien 12) Wesley Fofana 13) George Moala 14) Alivereti Raka 15) Kotaro Matsushima
Replacements: 16) Yohan Beheregaray 17) Etienne Falgoux 18) Cristian Ojova 19) Miles Amatosero 20) Lucas Dessaigne 21) Kevin Viallard 22) J J Hanrahan 23) Marvin O'Connor
Referee: Nika Amashukeli
Assistant Referees: TBC
Citing Officer: TBC
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