Leicester team to play Exeter: Tigers hand debuts to FIVE new signings

Leicester team to play Exeter: Tigers hand debuts to FIVE new signings

Leicester Tigers hand debuts to five new arrivals in the opening round of the Gallagher Premiership season at Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.

Will Spencer and David Denton start in the forward pack, while props David Feao and Gaston Cortes, and centre Kyle Eastmond are among the replacements for the trip to Sandy Park after summer moves to Tigers.

Australian duo Matt Toomua and Tatafu Polota-Nau return from international duty to claim places in the matchday squad. Toomua joins Manu Tuilagi in the Tigers midfield while Polota-Nau is named on the bench.

Mike Fitzgerald makes his 50th starting appearance in Premiership rugby, and Telusa Veainu makes his 50th top-flight appearance for the club.

Head coach Matt O’Connor also gives a call-up to England Under-20s wing Jordan Olowofela for the first game of the new season.


“All sorts of guys have been putting their hands up for selection during the pre-season period,” said O’Connor. “In the group we’ve got a lot of talent in the back three, options in midfield and we’ve added a lot of depth in the forwards. Everybody is going to be important across the course of the season. We have to be very close to our best there, but we look forward to the challenge.”

Tigers return to home turf against Newcastle Falcons in Round 2. Kick-off at Welford Road next Saturday is at 3.00pm and tickets are available now.

Leicester team to play Exeter
15 Telusa Veainu
14 Adam Thompstone
13 Manu Tuilagi
12 Matt Toomua
11 Jonny May
10 George Ford
9 Ben Youngs
1 Greg Bateman
2 Tom Youngs (c)
3 Dan Cole
4 Mike Fitzgerald
5 Will Spencer
6 David Denton
7 Brendon O’Connor
8 Sione Kalamafoni
16 Tatafu Polota-Nau
17 David Feao
18 Gaston Cortes
19 Harry Wells
20 Mike Williams
21 Sam Harrison
22 Kyle Eastmond
23 Jordan Olowofela
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Nic White; 1 Alec Hepburn, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Ollie Atkins, 5 Sam Skinner, 6 Don Armand, 7 Matt Kvesic, 8 Sam Simmonds
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Toby Salmon, 20 Sean Lonsdale, 21 Stu Townsend, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Henry Slade