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- Aviva Premiership
- 2nd Sep 2012
- KO 14:00
- Ground: Kassam Stadium
- Att: 6,850
Welsh v Tigers: Teams
At Kassam Stadium, Sunday September 2, kick-off 2.00pm
London Welsh make their Aviva Premiership bow against the Leicester Tigers at Kassam Stadium on Sunday.
Lyn Jones' side are participating in England's top division for the first time and become the 20th different side to play Premiership rugby.
The Tigers are slow starters having lost their opening fixture for the past three seasons.
Welsh head coach has named an experienced side for the Exiles' Premiership debut.
The side contains five of the starting line-up that clinched the Championship at the Kassam on May 30 - captain Jonathan Mills, Gordon Ross, Joe Ajuwa, Lee Beach and Hudson Tonga'uiha.
Mills, who made his debut for Welsh on loan from the Scarlets in January 2007, will be making his 144th appearance for the club.
Ross won the last of his 25 caps for Scotland in 2006 and is beginning his fourth season at Old Deer Park, while Ajuwa contributed ten tries to the Exiles' Championship winning campaign.
Tonga'uiha is the brother of Northampton prop Soane and was the club's leading try scorer last season in the Championship, with 12. Beach captained Wales to Sevens World Cup glory in 2009 in Dubai and was man of the match in the second leg of the Championship final against the Pirates.
Of the club's summer additions, internationals Phil MacKenzie (Canada), Sonny Parker (Wales), Franck Montanella (France), Paulica Ion (Romania) and Kirill Kulemin (Russia) all start on Sunday.
Fijian wing Vereniki Goneva and South African second-row Rob Andrew will make their league debuts for Tigers.
Geordan Murphy, beginning his 16th season as a Leicester Tiger, leads the team as captain.
Brett Deacon, who returned to his hometown club after two seasons with Gloucester, is named among the replacements. Jordan Crane, who missed the entire 2010/11 season with a knee injury, returns to the squad.
"London Welsh fought hard to get into the Aviva Premiership and it will be a big occasion for them in their first Premiership game. There is a lot of experience in their squad and their coaching team," said Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.
"We've got to be accurate in what we do. We've got some good competition for places in the squad, we've given them all valuable game-time in the pre-season, but this is where it really matters."
London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Phil MacKenzie, 13 Sonny Parker, 12. Hudson Tonga'uiha, 11 Joe Ajuwa, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Jonah Holmes, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Lee Beach, 6 Ed Williamson, 5 Kirill Kulemin, 4 Jonathan Mills (capt), 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Franck Montanella.
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Arthur Joly, 19 Martin Purdy, 20 Alfie To'oala, 21 Nick Runciman, 22 Seb Jewell, 23 Nick Scott.
Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Micky Young, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Rob Andrew, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Brett Deacon, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.
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