Leicester look to build on Quins victory
November 26, 2010
Leicester's Louis Deacon has not played for his club since the Premiership final in May © Getty Images
Leicester's home form has been their one source of comfort in what has thus far been an underwhelming domestic campaign and they will be out to maintain their 100% record at Welford Road when they host the struggling Newcastle Falcons on Saturday.
The Tigers went into last weekend's clash with Harlequins on the back of four straight defeats in all competitions - their worst run in six years - but were booted to a badly-needed victory by Billy Twelvetrees.
They will now be confident of making it two wins on the bounce as this weekend they take on a Newcastle side that has not won away from home all season. However, the Falcons have been lifted by last weekend's victory over Gloucester, which arrested a five-match losing streak in the Premiership.
Leicester Tigers - Player to Watch: All eyes will be on Louis Deacon as the England international makes his first appearance for Leicester since the Premiership final in May after being sidelined with a nagging back problem.
Leicester Tigers - Team News: The fit-again Deacon returns in the second-row alongside George Skivington. There is a first Premiership start for Lee Robinson on the wing, with Scott Hamilton having been switched to fullback to fill the void left by Geordan Murphy, who is away on international duty with Ireland. Jordan Crane will skipper the side in the latter's absence.
Newcastle Falcons - Player to Watch: Jeremy Manning struggled to make the breakthrough at Munster but he is excelling at Newcastle and showed off his full range of attacking skills against Gloucester. Hopefully, the talented Kiwi can maintain his good form.
Newcastle Falcons - Team News: Rob Vickers has been ruled out through injury so Kieran Brookes has been entrusted with the hooking duties. Brookes will be joined in the front row by Micky Ward, who gets the nod at tight-head prop. The only other change to the side that toppled Gloucester sees Tane Tu'ipulutu come into the side in midfield as Gcobani Bobo has been moved out wide to take over from the injured Charlie Amesbury.
Key Battle: The lineout will undoubtedly be hugely influential. Leicester are buoyed by the return of Deacon but James Hudson continually pilfered possession for the Falcons in the air in last weekend's win over Gloucester. A fascinating battle in prospect.
Trivia: All eight of Leicester's games in this season's Aviva Premiership have been won by the home side on the day.
Stats: The Tigers have claimed more bonus points (six) than any other team in the top flight so far this term.
Quote Unquote: "We have looked at how we train and go about things but, taking all that into account, it is just down to bad luck and there is nothing we can do about it.'' - Leicester boss Richard Cockerill reflects on their injury problems in The Leicester Mercury
"I'm massively looking forward to the game as it will be my first outing at Welford Road. I think it's a big occasion for anyone to run out at Leicester. To play a team like Leicester is great and if we perform on the day, we could come home with victory." - Newcastle Falcons scrum-half Micky Young is relishing the trip to Welford Road
Fantasy: Leicester's Billy Twelvetrees has amassed an impressive 43 points in this season's ESPNscrum Fantasy Rugby standings, just two shy of the highest-scoring centre, Olly Barkley.
Prediction: The Falcons have not won at Welford Road since December 2007 - do not expect that run to come to an end this weekend. Comfortable home win.
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