Leicester v Wasps preview: Tigers put 100% record on the line
Leicester welcome Wasps to Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday:
Opeti Fonua and England prop Dan Cole make their first starts of the campaign for the Tigers
Wasps make a host of injury-enforced changes to their squad from the win over Bath
Leicester are putting their 100 per cent record on the line this afternoon as they welcome Wasps to Welford Road, live on BT Sport.
A strong away bench features Wales’ World Cup second rower Bradley Davies, who is set for his first appearance of the season, alongside Alex Lozowski, who will offer cover at fly-half and full-back.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leicester: Opeti Fonua
Before moving to England, Fonua had a reputation as one of French rugby’s biggest hitters, while having an eye for the tryline after scoring 20 tries in two seasons with Agen in Pro2. The hulking 22-stone 29-year-old will be looking to make his mark as he makes his eagerly-anticipated first start for one of English rugby’s ‘big’ clubs.
Wasps: Bradley Davies
Davies has become a cornerstone of Dai Young’s impressive pack since arriving at Wasps at the start of last season. The 49-cap Welsh international stands at 6ft 6in tall and weighs in at over 19 stone will be looking to make his mark after a laying the foundations for a burgeoning career in the English game with 18 appearances last season.
Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait (c), 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Matt Smith, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Opeti Fonua, 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Mike Williams, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Fraser Balmain.
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Seremaia Bai, 23 Telusa Veainu.
Wasps: 15 Ruaridh Jackson, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 James Downey, 11 Frank Halai, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 George Smith, 6 James Haskell (c), 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Bradley Davies, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Sailosi Tagicakibau.
Date: Sunday, November 1
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant referees: Ross Campbell, Simon Harding
Television match official: Stuart Terheege
Timekeeper: Paul Stanley
Assessor: Brian Campsall