Leicester host Newcastle in the Aviva Premiership on Boxing day: 15:00 kick-off
Matthew Tait and Logo Mulipola return for Tigers
Emerging fly half Craig Willis makes Premiership bow for the Falcons
Matthew Tait and Logo Mulipola return to the starting line-up for Leicester Tigers’ festive fixture with Newcastle Falcons at Welford Road.
With just one defeat in six rounds of Aviva Premiership action so far, Tigers sit third in the league table and are keen to build on the solid platform provided so far.
There are six internationals on the Tigers bench, including the likes of Dan Cole, Tom Youngs and brother Ben.
Meanwhile, emerging fly half Craig Willis has been handed the number 10 shirt for the Falcons, meaning the young fly-half will make his Premiership bow on Satrday.
Willis is one of only four changes to the starting line up from the last league game against Saracens, although a number of personnel have made positional changes ahead of the weekend’s game.
Fresh from eye catching stints in the European competition, Simon Hammersley make a first Premiership start since November 1st at fullback, with Alex Tait moving across to the right wing position.
The ever developing Belisario Agulla moves a position in field to take up the outside centre berth alongside Chris Harris, while leading Challenge Cup try scorer Marcus Watson continues on the left wing.
Leicester come into the game after having twice turned over Irish provinve Munster
The Falcons picked up a morale-boosting win at home to high-flying Connacht last weekend
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leicester: Vereniki Goneva
Newcastle: Marcus Watson
Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Telusa Veainu , 13 Peter Betham , 12 Matt Smith, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jono Kitto, 8 Laurence Pearce, 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Ed Slater (c), 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Logovi’i Mulipola
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Opeti Fonua, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Seremaia Bai
Newcastle: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Belisario Agulla, 12 Chris Harris, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Craig Willis, 9 Michael Young, 8 Nili Latu, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Ally Hogg, 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Mark Wilson, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Rob Vickers
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Taione Vea, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Todd Clever, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Tom Catterick, 23 Juan Pablo Socino
Date: Saturday, December 26
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant Referees: Darren Gamage, Kelvin Stewart
TMO: Rowan Kitt