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Leicester Tigers v London Irish - LV= Cup match preview
Rob Hawkins makes his long-awaited return from injury in Sunday's LV= Cup clash against London Irish.
The hooker has been out of action since his arm was broken in last season's final against Northampton.
However he starts alongside alongside Boris Stankovich and Fraser Balmain in the front-row.
Scrum-half Micky Young, who makes his first start at Welford Road, and Dan Bowden are also named in the starting XV.
London Irish welcome back a trio of international stars for the clash against the Tigers.
England duo Alex Corbisiero and Jonathan Joseph and Scotland hooker Scott Lawson are included in the line-up.
There are also places in the side for Matt Garvey, George Skivington and Alex Gray, while Tom Homer returns to action from the bench alongside new signing Finlay Barnham.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Andy Forsyth, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 George Ford, 9 Micky Young, 8 Brett Deacon (c), 7 Richard Thorpe, 6 Michael Noone, 5 Ed Slater, 4 Rob Andrew, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 Jonny Harris, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Joe Cain, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Andrew Symons, 23 Henry Purdy.
London Irish: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Alex Gray, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Declan Danaher (c), 5 Matt Garvey, 4 George Skivington, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Bryn Evans, 20 Chris Hala'ufia, 21 Tom Homer, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Finlay Barnham
What they said...
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith
"Travelling to Welford Road is always a difficult task whatever competition you play Leicester in. They are a formidable side so we will have to perform to our best if we are to come away with a result."
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|Sunday 8th February|
|Saracens 35 - 18 Exeter|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 17 - 13 London Welsh|
|Saturday 7th February|
|Northampton 29 - 6 Wasps|
|Gloucester 25 - 7 Harlequins|
|Bath 10 - 13 Ospreys|
|London Irish 13 - 31 Newcastle|
|Cardiff Blues 9 - 43 Leicester|
|Sale Sharks 38 - 3 Scarlets|
|Sunday 1st February|
|Newcastle 39 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 15 - 20 Saracens|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 32 - 37 Exeter|
|Wasps 42 - 45 Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 31st January|
|Scarlets 27 - 18 London Irish|
|Leicester 17 - 8 Northampton|
|Gloucester 32 - 25 Ospreys|
|Harlequins 21 - 23 Bath|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com