Harlequins host Leicester in the Aviva Premiership on Friday night: 19:45 kick-off
Quins make five changes to their run-on side
Manu Tuilagi, Brendon O’Connor and Ed Slater return from injury to start for Tigers
Harlequins host Leicester Tigers at the Stoop in round 13 of the Aviva Premiership on Friday evening.
Harlequins and Leicester Tigers are two wounded beasts following last weekend’s defeats and will both look to bounce back when
Quins have made five personnel changes to the starting XV, which played Gloucester Rugby last week. Dave Ward moves from the openside flank and begins in the front row alongside Adam Jones and Mark Lambert.
James Horwill captains the side in the second row with Nick Easter returning at number 8.
In the backs, Winston Stanley is named at outside-centre, with Ben Botica starting at fly-half. Botica replaces Nick Evans who underwent surgery on a broken leg this week; the fly-half is expected to be out for 12 weeks with a return in early May.
Among the replacements Sam Egerton, who joined Harlequins from England Sevens as injury cover for Karl Dickson, will look to make his debut for the Club.
Meanwhile, Manu Tuilagi, Brendon O’Connor and Ed Slater return from injury to start for Leicester.
Tuilagi has missed the last three games with a hamstring strain, while O’Connor makes his first appearance since the derby match against Northampton Saints in early January. Club captain Slater returns after a seven-week absence with a knee injury.
There is also a place in the matchday squad for the first time for former South Africa captain Jean de Villiers who is named among the replacements. De Villiers has recovered from the fractured jaw which cut short his World Cup and a subsequent calf problem which delayed his debut for Tigers.
Harlequins have not lost two games in a row at the Stoop since September 2013
Leicester were victorious 22-19 when the two clubs met at Welford Road in Round Two, though have not achieved a season’s double over the Londoners since 2010/11
Tigers have also lost on their last four visits to the Stoop in all tournaments
Harlequins have now gone on a run of three Aviva Premiership Rugby games without a win
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Harlequins: Marland Yarde
Leicester: Manu Tuilagi
Harlequins: 15. Ross Chisholm, 14. Marland Yarde, 13. Winston Stanley, 12. Harry Sloan, 11. Tim Visser, 10. Ben Botica, 9. Tito Tebaldi, 1. Mark Lambert, 2. Dave Ward, 3. Adam Jones, 4. James Horwill©, 5. Charlie Matthews, 6. Mat Luamanu, 7. Luke Wallace, 8. Nick Easter
Replacements:16. Rob Buchanan, 17. Owen Evans, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. George Merrick, 20. James Chisholm, 21. Sam Egerton, 22. Tim Swiel, 23. Matt Hopper
Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Telusa Veainu, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Sam Harrison, 1 Marcos Ayerza, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Ed Slater (c), 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 6 Tom Croft, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 8 Laurence Pearce
Replacements:16 Harry Thacker, 17 Riccardo Brugnara, 18 Logovi’i Mulipola, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Oli Bryant, 23 Jean de Villiers
Date: Friday, February 19
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank, Wayne Falla
TMO: Sean Davey