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Pollard one of five changes as Leicester look to cure away day blues

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Richard Wigglesworth has made five changes to his starting XV, including a recall for Springboks World Cup winner Handre Pollard, as Leicester go in search of a first away win under their new head coach following successive heavy losses on the road at Sale and Newcastle. Having last month succeeded new England boss Steve Borthwick as the main man at the Tigers, the new era under their former scrum-half has struggled so far to ignite.

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Wigglesworth’s maiden match in charge was a come-from-behind Premiership win over Gloucester at home on Christmas Eve but Leicester have since lost their way, losing 5-40 and 26-45 in recent weeks in the north of England.

They are on their travels again this weekend, this time visiting France for their Friday night Heineken Champions Cup clash with Clermont, and Wigglesworth has opted to alter half of the pack that started last time out at the Falcons.

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James Whitcombe and Joe Heyes are named at prop, with James Cronin dropping to the bench and Dan Cole missing out altogether. Cameron Henderson is promoted from the bench at lock in place of Calum Green while another of the Kingston Park subs, Sean Jansen, is at No8 in place of Hanro Liebenberg.

There is only one backline change, the inclusion of Pollard at out-half, but his naming has caused positional alterations elsewhere in the Leicester ranks.

Charlie Atkinson, last Saturday’s starting No10, has switched to full-back, forcing the move of Freddie Steward to right wing where Harry Potter drops out of the starting side to the bench. Ben Youngs captains the side in his 74th Champions Cup appearance for Leicester, equalling Geordan Murphy as the club’s most-capped player in Europe’s top tier.

Leicester (vs Clermont, Friday)
15. Charlie Atkinson [8]
14. Freddie Steward (vc) [65]
13. Matt Scott [55]
12. Dan Kelly [49]
11. Harry Simmons [27]
10. Handre Pollard [2]
9. Ben Youngs (c) [292]
1. James Whitcombe [32]
2. Charlie Clare [66]
3. Joe Heyes [112]
4. Harry Wells [169]
5. Cameron Henderson [25]
6. Ollie Chessum [41]
7. Tommy Reffell (vc) [89]
8. Sean Jansen [13]

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Replacements:
16. Joe Taufete’e [4]
17. James Cronin [9]
18. Will Hurd [16]
19. Olly Cracknell [12]
20. Emeka Ilione [7]
21. Jack van Poortvliet [58]
22. Jimmy Gopperth [7]
23. Harry Potter [54]

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