Worcester v Leicester preview: Team news, kick-off time, line-ups, odds and stats for the Aviva Premiership clash
Worcester protects their 100% home record in the Aviva Premiership against Leicester on Saturday:15:00 kick-off
The Warriors make two changes to the starting line-up that lost at Twickenham last weekend
Winger Vereniki Goneva and fly-half Owen Williams return for Leicester after recovering from injuries
Leicester Tigers may be at the opposite end of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table to Worcester Warriors, but they won’t take their Midlands rivals lightly on Saturday.
The Tigers, who are flying high in third travel to face Worcester, who although are in ninth place have a 100 per cent record at Sixways, overcoming Newcastle and Northampton in their two home fixtures so far this season
Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan makes just two changes to his starting line-up with tighthead prop Joe Rees, who bagged his first professional try at Twickenham last weekend, comes in for Nick Schonert while Matt Cox returns to the back row in place of GJ van Velze.
“All the big top four are coming in the next few weeks and over Christmas so let’s keep putting ourselves out there and let’s keep seeing where we are at and keep improving.” admitted Ryan.
“We are at home and unbeaten at Sixways this season so let’s get ourselves out there.
“Leicester are not as clinical at certain things as Saracens, but they are very physical at other areas.
“There’s a lot of talk about changes to their game, but they don’t lose what Leicester are. The reason why they have been so successful are built on pretty solid foundations of physicality in key areas, and I don’t expect that to change.”
Meanwhile, winger Vereniki Goneva and fly-half Owen Williams both return from injuries to take their place in the Leicester starting XV.
Tigers captain Ed Slater leads the team after making his 100th appearance for the Tigers in the win over Bath last weekend, and he is joined in the second row by Graham Kitchener, who is making his first start of the season. Matias Aguero and Jordan Crane also come into the run-on team in the forwards
Leicester have won their last 11 contests with Worcester in all tournaments
The Warriors have lost only one of their last 22 home games at Sixways in all competitions
Tigers have achieved only one try bonus point in Premiership Rugby in 2015
Worcester 9/4 Draw 33/1 Leicester 2/5
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Worcester: Chris Pennell
Leicester: Telusa Veainu
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Sam Betty, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 3 Joe Rees, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Na’ama Leleimalefaga
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Marco Mama, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Ben Howard
Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone , 13 Peter Betham , 12 Seremaia Bai , 11 Vereniki Goneva , 10 Owen Williams, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Tom Croft, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater (c), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Greg Bateman, 1 Matias Aguero
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Matt Smith
Date: Saturday, December 5
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton, Andrew Pearce
TMO: Sean Davey