Leicester Tigers v London Welsh - Aviva Premiership match preview

Last updated: 9th February 2013  

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Matt Smith will make history when he runs out for Leicester against London Welsh in Saturday's Aviva Premiership encounter.

The game will be Smith's 100th for the Tigers, with the 27-year-old emulating his dad Ian. That means the duo become the first father-and-son combination to achieve the feat in the side's 133-year history.

Leicester also welcome back Anthony Allen, Niall Morris, Adam Thompstone, Sam Harrison, George Ford, Marcos Ayerza, Rob Hawkins, Louis Deacon, Graham Kitchener, Tom Croft, Julian Salvi and Jordan Crane for the match.

In fact only full-back Mathew Tait and prop Logovi'i Mulipola retain their places following the LV= Cup defeat to the Scarlets.

London Welsh have also opted to make wholesale changes for the return to domestic action.

In the backs, Tom Arscott, Nick Scott, Gordon Ross and Tyson Keats all start, with Phil MacKenzie switching flanks.

In the forwards, Franck Montanella, Adam Balding, Michael Hills and Ed Jackson come into the line-up.

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 George Ford, 9 Sam Harrison, 1 Marcos Ayerza, 2 Rob Hawkins, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 4 Louis Deacon (c), 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Tom Croft, 7 Julian Salvi, 8 Jordan Crane.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Brett Deacon, 21 Micky Young, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Geordan Murphy.

London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Phil MacKenzie, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Sonny Parker, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Tyson Keats, 1 Franck Montanella, 2 Neil Briggs, 3 Greg Bateman, 4 Jonathan Mills (c), 5 Matt Corker, 6 Adam Balding, 7 Michael Hills, 8 Ed Jackson.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 James Tideswell, 19 Martin Purdy, 20 Ed Williamson, 21 Seb Jewell, 22 Gavin Henson, 23 Rob Lewis.

What they said...

London Welsh director of rugby Lyn Jones

"We're keen to see how much we've improved since we played Leicester in September - that game was a line in the sand for us.

"It was a tough day for us but we've come on a little bit since then and we're keen to see exactly just how far we've improved.

"Leicester and all of the teams in the top half of the table prepare for this period of the season, when the national sides are at full complement with members of their squad, so we don't expect any weakness in the Leicester side we play on Saturday.

"We've learnt a lot of lessons about ourselves over the past four weeks in the Amlin Challenge Cup and the LV= Cup. We've improved certain aspects of our game and we're looking to carry those forward against Leicester."

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