Manu Tuilagi returns from injury to claim his place in the Leicester Tigers squad for Friday’s Aviva Premiership meeting with Newcastle Falcons at Welford Road.


Fit-again Tuilagi starts alongside Matt Toomua at centre, with O’Connor joining Luke Hamilton and Sione Kalamafoni, this season’s Players’ Player of the Year, in the back row.

He has made just 29 appearances for Leicester Tigers in the last four seasons, which works out at slightly over 7 appearances a season.

Since making his debut for Tigers in 2010, he has made 103 appearances, averaging a little under 13 appearances a season across all competitions.

Mike Williams is included among the replacements as he returns from injury.

Ellis Genge will make his 50th Tigers appearance since his move from Bristol and he joins fellow internationals Tatafu Polota-Nau and Dan Cole in the front row.

Ben Youngs reclaims his starting berth at scrum-half after making an appearance as a replacement against Northampton Saints a fortnight ago following his recovery from a knee injury.


Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “We’ve had a number of players coming back from injury over the last few weeks and they have been training and preparing fully. It is good timing because the intensity of these last two rounds will require a real squad effort.

“This is a huge game and thankfully we’re at home and will have the fans at Welford Road to give us a bit of an edge. We now have to put in a performance worthy of getting the points we need.”

More than 23,000 tickets have already been sold for Tigers’ final home game of the season, setting a club record for a Friday night league game at Welford Road. Tickets are still available.

Supporters can book in person at the Tigers ticket office, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online at


Leicester Tigers (v Newcastle Falcons, Welford Road, Friday 7.45pm)

15 Telusa Veainu
14 Adam Thompstone
13 Manu Tuilagi
12 Matt Toomua
11 Jonny May
10 George Ford (c)
9 Ben Youngs

1 Ellis Genge
2 Tatafu Polota-Nau
3 Dan Cole
4 Mike Fitzgerald
5 Graham Kitchener
6 Luke Hamilton
7 Brendon O’Connor
8 Sione Kalamafoni


16 Tom Youngs
17 Greg Bateman
18 Logovi’i Mulipola
19 Harry Wells
20 Mike Williams
21 Sam Harrison
22 Mathew Tait
23 Jonah Holmes

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