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Chris Ashton to make first Euro start for Leicester Tigers

By Ian Cameron
Chris Ashton of Tigers celebrates at the final whistle during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers at Sandy Park (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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Chris Ashton will make his first European start for Leicester Tigers after being named in the matchday squad for tomorrow’s Heineken Champions Cup fixture against Clermont Auvergne at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

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Head coach Steve Borthwick has named Ashton on one wing and Harry Potter the other.

Borthwick has also moved England second row Ollie Chessum to the blindside, while Nic Dolly starts at hooker with captain Ellis Genge and Joe Heyes the props. He links up with Tommy Reffell and Hanro Liebenberg in a new-look back row.

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On the Leicester bench, Charlie Clare, Francois van Wyk, and Dan Cole are front-row substitutions. The second row features Harry Wells and Eli Snyman, who both started off the bench at the Stade Marcel-Michelin.

The other forwards among the replacements are Calum Green and Jasper Wiese, who both started last Sunday.

The half-back partnership of Jack van Poortvliet and George Ford is retained, while Dan Kelly is teamed with Matas Moroni in the Tigers’ middle for the first time in six weeks.

Freddie Steward starts at full-back. It’s the 21-year-old’s 50th first-team appearance for the club. Ben Youngs, Freddie Burns and Matt Scott are the replacement backs included in the matchday squad.

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“It has been more than a month since a game at home for most of these players, who have the privilege of representing the club this weekend, and we are looking forward to being back,” said Borthwick.

“The focus is on this weekend, not anything we have done before in this competition.”

“It is a new week, a new game and our objective – like every time we represent Leicester Tigers – is to play tough and deliver a performance our supporters can be proud of at full time.”

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LEICESTER TIGERS
15 Freddie Steward
14 Chris Ashton
13 Matías Moroni
12 Dan Kelly
11 Harry Potter
10 George Ford
9 Jack van Poortvliet
1 Ellis Genge
2 Nic Dolly
3 Joe Heyes
4 Harry Wells
5 Eli Snyman
6 Ollie Chessum
7 Tommy Reffell
8 Hanro Liebenberg

REPLACEMENTS
16 Charlie Clare
17 Francois van Wyk
18 Dan Cole
19 Calum Green
20 Jasper Wiese
21 Ben Youngs
22 Freddie Burns
23 Matt Scott

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