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Leicester big guns set to return against Munster

By Jack Davies
Leicester Tigers pair Manu Tuilagi and Matt Toomua

Manu Tuilagi and Matt Toomua will return from injury to feature for Leicester Tigers in their European Champions Cup clash with Munster at Welford Road on Sunday.

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Both players have missed the majority of the season but will pair up at centre following their recoveries from knee problems.

Tuilagi damaged the meniscus in his knee in September in his first game back after eight months out, while Toomua has been sidelined by bruising.

The return of the duo will come as a boost to Leicester, who sit bottom of Pool 4 at the midway point in the group.

“Matt and Manu have been training hard, they’re world-class operators and it’s great to have them back,” said head coach Matt O’Connor.

“We prepared well for last weekend [a 33-10 defeat to pool leaders Munster] but we didn’t deliver on the day and were beaten by a very committed Munster side.

“Now we are looking at a big reaction at home this week. Pool 4 is the tightest of all the groups in the competition and all four teams still have everything to play for.”

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William 2 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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