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Premiership: Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors

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Tongan full-back Telusa Veainu will be making his 50th appearance for Leicester Tigers
Aviva Premiership
Venue: Welford Road Date: Saturday, 25 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC local radio; live scores on the BBC Sport website, app and mobile

Third-placed Leicester have hooker Harry Thacker and prop Pat Cilliers back in the front row as they bid to stretch their six-match Premiership winning run at home to Worcester.

Lock Dom Barrow returns from illness, and Brendon O’Connor starts at flanker.

Worcester, still without Ben Te’o, name an unchanged starting line-up for the first time this season as they aim to build on their first Premiership win.

But they have never won at Welford Road in 122 years of trying.

Since the old Worcester Rugby Club travelled to Leicester in the Midland Counties Cup in 1895, they have now made 14 visits – and lost them all.

While Leicester are weakened by international calls, most notably England trio Jonny May, George Ford and Dan Cole, Mathew Tait returns to the squad after an ankle injury and they also have lock Mike Williams up against his old club.

Match facts

  • Leicester’s six-match winning run is their Premiership best since the 2013-14 season. They have lost only once at home this season, 27-23 to Bath on the opening weekend.
  • Worcester’s first Premiership win of the season, at home to Northampton, lifted them off the bottom of the Premiership table to 11th.
  • The Warriors have not won away from home in the Premiership since their 21-15 victory at Harlequins in March 2016.
  • Worcester have beaten Leicester just twice in their history, both at Sixways, in the Premiership, in 2005 and 2008.

Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor:

“The composure and relentless attitude to keep playing and keep working hard against Sale last week was very good.

“We know it’ll take another big effort across the board this weekend. Worcester had a good win over Saints.

“They were very good at the set-piece and they’ve got some key players back.”

Warriors director of rugby Gary Gold told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

“I probably over-emphasised on the defence too much at the beginning of the season because we leaked so many tries last year.

“But you don’t want the pendulum to swing too far one way. I will take four tries every week, but you don’t want to let your foot off the gas from a defensive point of view.

“You don’t necessarily want to be conceding five tries every week either and the coaches have done a really good job in recalibrating this.”

Worcester: Pennell; Heem, Willison, Mills, Adams; Lance, Hougaard; Waller, Singleton, Schonert, O’Callaghan (capt), Spencer, Faosiliva, Lewis, van Velze.

Replacements: Haupt, Bower, Milasinovich, Scotland-Williamson, Denton, Dowsett, Olver, Hammond.

Leicester: Veainu; Malouf, Smith, Owen, Thompstone; Ford, Harrison; Bateman, Thacker, Cilliers, Barrow (capt), Kitchener, Williams, O’Connor, Mapapalangi.

Replacements: McGuigan, Traynor, Baumann, Fitzgerald, Evans, White, Hardwick, Tait.


Source: BBC Here