Burns to make first Leicester start
September 3, 2014
Freddie Burns settles into his new Welford Road surroundings © Getty Images
Burns has seen off competition from Welshman Owen Williams, who is expected to take a place on the bench as he returns from a ban for making contact with the eyes of Northampton Saints' centre Luther Burrell.
Burns, who joined Leicester this summer, experienced a mixed season in 2013-14 where he was at times out of favour at Gloucester but impressed on England's June tour of New Zealand.
"He [Williams] is available and will come into consideration for the 23, but Freddie will start at the weekend," Tigers' coach Richard Cockerill told theMercury. He has had the game-time and done all of the work."
Cockerill said that despite a lack of game time, Williams was in good shape and that "if everything had been equal, it would have probably been the other way around - but it is not and that's the way it is."
It is not just in the 10 jersey that competition for places at Leicester is fierce, however. Jordan Crane is battling with newly-signed Italian international Robert Barbieri at No.8, while the returning Tom Croft is expected to pip Jamie Gibson on the blindside.
Newcastle's visit will see the return to Welford Road of two former favourites, coach Dean Richards and new signing Alesana Tuilagi, who could be one of three brothers on the field, alongside team-mate Anitelea and Tigers' England centre Manu.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action