Tigers get boost for Warriors visit
February 20, 2009
Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has received a boost for the visit of Worcester © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers acting head Coach Richard Cockerill welcomes back internationals Geordan Murphy, Benjamin Kayser and Martin Castrogiovanni from International duty for Saturday's home game against the Worcester Warriors.
George Chuter, Julian White and Tom Croft are included among the replacements after being released back to the club by the England management.
Murphy's return sees a positional switch for Scott Hamilton who reverts to the wing as Murphy slots into his favoured fullback role. Matt Smith moves from the wing to join captain Aaron Mauger at centre in the absence of Seru Rabeni who picked up a knee injury at Wasps.
Marcos Ayerza joins Kayser and Castrogiovanni in the front row, with the rest of the pack retaining their places from last week.
"The boys stuck at it really well at Wasps and dug in to take two bonus points," said Cockerill. "We played some good stuff but we made some basic errors and coughed up some soft points, which we've looked at and addressed this week.
"It will be great to get back on home ground after a month away from Welford Road. We need to build on last Sunday's performance, play our game, look after the ball and make the right decisions at the right time. We need to build momentum now to the end of the season."
Worcester Warriors make five changes to the side that lost to Bath last week. Willie Walker, on loan from Gloucester, starts at fullback in place of the injured Chris Latham while Matt Powell slots in at scrum-half and Darren Morris, Chris Fortey and Craig Gillies all come into the Warriors pack.
"They are going to be direct, will come at us and be very physical with their set-piece, breakdown skills and big runners," said Worcester head coach Mike Ruddock. "Our defence has got to be spot on. We can't let tackles through in midfield like we did against Bath. If they are going to beat us we have to make them do that on the outside.
"As we saw against Bath we have got people who can finish. It was great to see Rico Gear coming back to his best form the other day and Marcel Garvey can finish. We have got to hold the ball and get it to them. That's our goal and we don't feel we are a million miles away from achieving that goal.
"There is a very upbeat and united camp. I can assure everyone we will be going there to give it our best shot."
Leicester: Murphy; Hamilton, Smith, Mauger (captain), Tuilagi; Vesty, Dupuy; Ayerza, Kayser, Castrogiovanni, Deacon, Kay, Newby, Woods, Crane
Replacements: Chuter, White, Croft, Deacon, Youngs, Erinle, Murphy
Worcester: Walker; Gear, Rasmussen, Crichton, Garvey; Carlisle, Powell; Morris, Fortey, Taumoepeau, Bowley. Gillies, Wood, Sanderson (captain), Horstmann
Replacements: Mullan, Lutui, Rawlinson. Talei, Powell, Grove, Benjamin