There is no room for Manu Tuilagi in the Leicester Tigers’ 23 named to take on the Scarlets in today’s Heineken Champions Cup fixture in Wales.
Tigers are currently trying to lock down Tuilagi’s contract as rival clubs circle the England centre.
Matt Toomua will captain Leicester Tigers from fly-half Head coach Geordan Murphy shuffles the backline with Australia international Toomua leading the team out and Gareth Owen set to face his former club.
Loosehead prop Greg Bateman and centre Kyle Eastmond both come into the starting team after appearing from the bench in the bonus-point win over Gloucester on league duty last weekend in their first games back after a period on the sidelines.
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Tonga international Valentino Mapapalangi is named in the No8 shirt in his first senior appearance since early November and there is also a place for England Under-20s prop Joe Heyes at tighthead prop.
There could be a club debut for former England Under-20s cap Sam Aspland-Robinson who is named in the matchday squad for the first time since his summer move from Harlequins.
Looking to the Round 5 fixture, Murphy said: “Greg Bateman came off the bench and did a really good job last week, Kyle looked sharp when he came on too so it was good to give them time back on the pitch.
“Scarlets have a very strong record at their own stadium and they will want to put on a show at home. We have to focus on our own performance and back-up on the positives from recent weeks.”
Leicester Tigers (v Scarlets, away, Saturday 5.30pm)
15 George Worth
14 Jonah Holmes
13 Gareth Owen
12 Kyle Eastmond
11 Jordan Olowofela
10 Matt Toomua (c)
9 Ben White
1 Greg Bateman
2 Jake Kerr
3 Joe Heyes
4 Harry Wells
5 Graham Kitchener
6 Mike Williams
7 Will Evans
8 Valentino Mapapalangi
16 Ross McMillan
17 Facundo Gigena
18 David Feao
19 Mike Fitzgerald
20 Brendon O’Connor
21 Ben Youngs
22 Joe Ford
23 Sam Aspland-Robinson
Scarlets: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Paul Asquith, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Joshua Helps, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Ed Kennedy, 7 Dan Davis, 8 Ken Owens (c)
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Tom Price, 20 Joshua Macleod, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Ioan Nicholas
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