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Leicester Tigers set to face some familiar faces against Ealing Trailfinders

By Ian Cameron
Jonah Holmes (Getty Images)

Leicester Tigers will face some familiar faces when they take on Ealing Trailfinders in their Premiership Cup fixture with the RFU Championship’s star side.

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Championship heavyweights Ealing have selected a formidable lineup for the contest, with ex-Premiership stars Biyi Alo, England centre Billy Twelvetrees, Dan Lancaster, Jordy Reid, Will Goodrick-Clarke and Jonah Holmes all set to face off against the Tigers.

England veteran Twelvetrees played three seasons for Leicester between 2009 and 2012, scoring over 300 points.

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Former Wales star Holmes also played for Tigers for three seasons, scoring an impressive 24 tries in 45 outings for the Welford Road-based outfit.

Elsewhere flyhalf Dan Lancaster – the son of former England coach Stuart Lancaster – signed for Ealing in 2022 having previously played five times for Leicester.

Meanwhile, Dan McKellar has named a backline laden with international players for the fixture.

Notable selections include Phil Cokanasiga and one cap England centre Dan Kelly in the midfield. Former Scotland centre Matt Scott is selected on the wing, while England veteran Mike Brown securing the fullback position.

Current EPS squad member Ollie Hassell-Collins is named on the wing, while Jamie Shillcock will steer the team from flyhalf. They will be captained by Hanro Liebenberg in his milestone 100th appearance for the club. The match also marks a first start for hooker Finn Theobold-Thomas.

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Hooker Charlie Clare is returning from injury as a substitute.

LEICESTER TIGERS:
15 Mike Brown
14 Matt Scott
13 Dan Kelly
12 Phil Cokanasiga
11 Ollie Hassell-Collins
10 Jamie Shillcock
9 Tom Whiteley
1 Francois van Wyk
2 Finn Theobold-Thomas
3 Dan Richardson
4 Harry Wells
5 Kyle Hatherell
6 Hanro Liebenberg
7 Matt Rogerson
8 Olly Cracknell

REPLACEMENTS
16 Charlie Clare
17 James Whitcombe
18 Tim Hoyt
19 Sam Carter
20 Emeka Ilione
21 Sam Edwards
22 Kieran Wilkinson
23 Joseph Woodward

EALING TRAILFINDERS:
1 Will Goodrick-Clarke
2 Matt Cornish
3 Biyi Alo
4 Bobby De Wee
5 Barney Maddison
6 Rob Farrar
7 Jordy Reid
8 Rayn Smid
9 Craig Hampson
10 Dan Lancaster
11 James Cordy-Redden
12 Billy Twelvetrees
13 Reuben Bird-Tulloch
14 Jonah Holmes
15 Max Bodilly

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REPLACEMENTS:
16 Mike Willemse
17 Kyle Whyte
18 Jimmy Roots
19 Andrew Davidson
20 Richard Hardwick
21 Lloyd Williams
22 Dan O’Brien
23 Will Montgomery

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J
Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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