Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks - Aviva Premiership match preview
Tom Croft will captain Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership fixture against Sale Sharks at Welford Road.
Last Updated: 02/03/13 2:20pm
Back-rower Croft has made a successful return after a neck injury in recent weeks and makes his 100th starting appearance for the club this weekend.
Mathew Tait and Niall Morris return to the backline for Saturday - Leicester's only home fixture during March - while Thomas Waldrom returns from the England squad to take the Tigers No8 shirt.
Tigers are without six players retained by England this weekend, while Anthony Allen, Miles Benjamin, Martin Castrogiovanni, Louis Deacon, Geordan Murphy and Boris Stankovich are unavailable due to injury.
Meanwhile, Sale Sharks travel to Welford Road to play Leicester hoping to bounce back following the 21-30 defeat at home to high-flying Harlequins last Friday.
The Sharks have won their last two away games in all competitions but have not won three in a row on the road in the same season since October 2006.
Scrum-half Will Cliff signed a new deal at the club earlier in the week but is unavailable against the Tigers due to an injury sustained in a freak training ground incident.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 George Ford, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft (c), 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Kieran Brookes, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Brett Deacon, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Micky Young, 22 Matt Cornwell, 23 Scott Hamilton.
Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Will Addison, 10 Nick Maclod, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Dan Braid, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 James Gaskell, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Al Dickinson, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Jordan Davies.
What they said...
Leicester boss Richard Cockerill
"We've had disappointing results in the last two weeks but in terms of performance we've done some good things," said Cockerill.
"There are still six games remaining so there is a lot of rugby to be played yet and a lot of points still up for grabs. We keep a positive frame of mind and just keep battling away."
Sale wing Will Addison
It's a big game away at Leicester this weekend but they have lost a few players to international call-ups," said Addison.
"We showed what we can do at Welford Road last year and picked up a losing bonus point down there. It's a big ask to go to Leicester and win but if we can bring the different parts of our game together we feel we can do well.
"The important thing to remember is that there are still six games left and a lot of rugby to be played."