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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)

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.”

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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Shaylen 16 minutes ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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J
Jon 6 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
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