Hooper and Biggs back for Leeds Carnegie
March 7, 2008

Leeds Carnegie welcome back their captain Stuart Hooper and leading try scoring Tom Biggs for Sunday crucial Guinness Premiership clash with Bristol at Headingley Carnegie.

Hooper missed last Saturday's defeat at Leicester with a calf strain picked up a fortnight ago against Bath whilst Biggs has missed the last two games with a hip injury.

In total Stuart Lancaster makes five changes to the side who lost at Leicester last week.

"Looking back to last week's performance against Leicester it was one of mixed emotions," commented Director of Rugby Stuart Lancaster.

"I thought we got 80-90% of our game right and challenged Leicester in attack especially. Although our scrum was disappointing we were really pleased with how the line out had gone, with particular credit going to Kearnan Myall who has stepped up and run the line out in Stuart Hooper's absence.

"However, we still lacked the 5% required to win the game and it boils down to composure, patience and technical execution under pressure. The positives again however outweighed the negatives and the squad are fully focused on what we all know is a massive game against Bristol on Sunday.

Looking ahead to this weekend's clash with Bristol he added, "I completed my level five coaching qualifications with both Richard Hill and Corin Palmer and we share a lot of common values.

"I have a huge amount of respect for Bristol and their coaching team for the manner in which they have built their club, we know more than most the challenge that faces a side promoted from National One and Bristol have shown a great deal of spirit and determination in becoming a top flight club again.

"Something that should not be lost on ourselves is that it takes hard work and a long term commitment and belief to achieve what they have which is a great lesson for any club coming up in to the Guinness Premiership.

"We obviously recognise the importance of the game, especially with the match being at Headingley Carnegie. We are delighted to welcome back our captain Stuart Hooper from injury.

"We have had further boosts in the forwards with Tommy McGee, Vili Ma'asi and Jon Dunbar all coming back from injuries that kept them out last week. We are also pleased to have Tom Biggs back available after he recovered from a hip injury he suffered at Sale."

The team in full is:
15. Leigh Hinton
14. John Holtby
13. Jonny Hepworth
12. Andy Tuilagi
11. Tom Biggs
10. Alberto Di Bernardo
9. Joe Bedford
1. Mike MacDonald
2. Vili Ma'asi
3. Tommy McGee
4. Stuart Hooper (c)
5. Kearnan Myall
6. Jon Dunbar
7. Hendre Fourie
8. Adam Balding

16. Fosi Pala'amo
17. Rob Rawlinson
18. Erik Lund
19. Calum Clark
20. James Brooks
21. Lee Blackett
22. Rob Vickerman

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