Steve Borthwick has made 13 changes to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for Saturday’s return to Welford Road against Bath in round 15 of the Gallagher Premiership season. Tomas Lavanini and George Worth, who moves into the midfield from full-back, are the only two players retained from the starting side that lost at Exeter last Saturday in round 14.
After coming off the Premiership bench last weekend, front rowers Nephi Leatigaga, Jake Kerr and Joe Heyes make up the Leicester front row, with Lavanini partnering Australia international Blake Enever in the second row. Enever, who joined Tigers from the ACT Brumbies during the summer, will make his club debut.
In the back row, it’s a trio of Premiership first starts for the club for George Martin, Luke Wallace and Thom Smith. The 19-year-old Martin will also make his first appearance in the competition, as well as his first run out at Welford Road in just his second senior start for the club.
Smith, who made his Premiership debut at Exeter, will make his first starting appearance in the competition and Wallace, in just his second game for the club since his summer arrival, has been named vice-captain alongside outside-back Worth.
Ben White will captain the side and partner Johnny McPhillips at half-back. Guy Porter has been named to make his Tigers debut alongside Worth at centre after arriving from the ACT Brumbies during the postponement period.
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Steve Borthwick talks about last week's fixture, looks ahead to Saturday and shares his thoughts on our opponents, plus the Tigers side selected and his expectations of them and more in this week's ???? ????, thanks to @ToppsTiles. pic.twitter.com/MSmBj2Nmhx
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Fellow new addition Harry Potter will also make his debut, alongside his former Sydney University team-mate Porter, after being named on the wing. Harry Simmons is on the other wing and Zack Henry, in his first start for Leicester, is at full-back.
Dan Cole is the only one of the replacements who featured last weekend and is included alongside fellow Tigers academy graduates Charlie Clare and Ryan Bower as front row cover.
Scotland U20s lock Cameron Henderson is in line to make his Tigers debut and is joined on the bench by back row Jordan Coghlan. Academy graduates Jack van Poortvliet, Tom Hardwick and Freddie Steward complete the replacements.
Borthwick said: “This period of games is an opportunity for us to work the depth of our squad, work the competition for places and work that we understand the combinations better.
“That’s the opportunity the players have this weekend – the privileged opportunity they have to be the first Leicester team since we restarted to represent Leicester back here at Welford Road.”
LEICESTER (vs Bath, Saturday)
15. Zack Henry; 14. Harry Potter, 13. George Worth, 12. Guy Porter, 11. Harry Simmons; 10. Johnny McPhillips, 9 Ben White (capt); 1. Nephi Leatigaga; 2. Jake Kerr, 3. Joe Heyes, 4. Tomas Lavanini, 5. Blake Enever, 6. George Martin, 7. Luke Wallace, 8. Thom Smith. Reps: 16. Charlie Clare, 17. Ryan Bower, 18. Dan Cole, 19. Cameron Henderson, 20. Jordan Coghlan, 21. Jack van Poortvliet, 22. Tom Hardwick, 23. Freddie Steward.
Guessing game… "We want you to be able to identify those traits in us"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 21, 2020
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