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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Friday, January 3rd 2020

Preview: Leicester Tigers (a) - Gallagher Premiership

Bristol Bears head to Welford Road looking to end a run of three games without victory in the Gallagher Premiership (1pm KO).

Nizaam Carr's last minute try condemned Pat Lam's side to a dramatic defeat at the hands of Wasps in round seven, but the Bears still sit fourth in the table after a promising start to the season. 

Leicester earned a 30-30 draw against Harlequins at Twickenham thanks to Telusa Veainu's converted try, and Geordan Murphy's side will be looking to kick-start their season in the New Year.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of Saturday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.


Match details:

  • Date: Saturday, January 4th
  • Kick-off: 1pm
  • Competition: Gallagher Premiership
  • Where: Welford Road
  • Referee: JP Doyle (176th Premiership game), Assistant Referees: Michael Hudson & Jonathan Healy. TMO: Nigel Carrick. Citing Officer: Grant Seely.
  • Media coverage: BBC Radio Bristol, Channel 5 Highlights 
  • Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets for the match.

Team news

Dan Thomas returns from a groin injury to start as Bristol Bears travel to Leicester Tigers on Saturday (1pm KO).

The back rower is one of five changes to the side that suffered defeat last weekend to Wasps.

Harry Randall and Will Hurrell come into the backline for the Welford Road encounter, while Alapati Leiua switches to the wing.

Ed Holmes is named in the engine room, while Jordan Lay is set for his first Premiership start of the season in the front row.

Nathan Hughes will make his 100th Premiership appearance in the round eight clash.


Bristol Bears team to face Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Saturday, January 4th (1pm KO):

15. Charles Piutau; 14. Toby Fricker, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Will Hurrell, 11. Alapati Leiua; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Harry Randall; 1. Jordan Lay, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. John Afoa, 4. Chris Vui, 5.Ed Holmes, 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Nathan Hughes.

Replacements: 16. Will Capon, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. Max Lahiff, 19. Dave Attwood, 20. Jake Heenan, 21. Nic Stirzaker, 22. Ian Madigan, 23. Luke Morahan.

Leicester Tigers: 

15. Telusa Veainu, 14. Jordan Olowofela, 13. Jaco Taute, 12. Kyle Eastmond, 11. Jonny May, 10. George Ford, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Ellis Genge, 2. Tom Youngs (c), 3. Dan Cole, 4. Tomás Lavanini, 5. Calum Green, 6. Harry Wells, 7. Jordan Taufua, 8. Sione Kalamafoni.

Replacements: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. Greg Bateman, 18. Nephi Leatigaga, 19. Guy Thompson, 20. Tommy Reffell, 21. Sam Harrison, 22. Noel Reid, 23. George Worth.


Last time out

Saturday, April 27th 2019 | Leicester Tigers 20-23 Bristol Bears | Gallagher Premiership

Harry Thacker returned to haunt his former club with a 75th-minute try to earn Bristol Bears a first victory at Welford Road in more than 17 years.

The hooker, who joined Bristol from Leicester last summer, powered over from a driving lineout late on, as Pat Lam’s side came from behind to snatch another dramatic win and complete a first-ever league double over the Tigers.

Bristol had trailed right up until Thacker’s decisive score, as 15 points from the boot of George Ford and Jordan Olowofela’s first-half try, cancelled out Callum Sheedy and Dan Thomas, who touched down either side of half time.

But with five minutes left on the clock, Bristol held their nerve to piece together a formidable drive at the lineout, with Thacker applying the finishing touches to a second away win of the season for the visitors.

Read the full report here.


Word from the camp

John Afoa insists Bristol must focus on themselves ahead of the round eight Gallagher Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers on Saturday (1pm KO).

Bears will look to end a three-game winless streak in the top flight and Afoa says the team are aware of the challenge that awaits them at Welford Road.

Subscribe to Bristol Bears TV by clicking here.

 


Form guide

Leicester Tigers only victory in their last 10 Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches was 16-13 against Gloucester in round three.

The Tigers defeat to Exeter in their most recent home game on December 21st ended a run of three successive wins at Welford Road.

Bristol Bears are without a win in the last three rounds of Gallagher Premiership Rugby since beating Exeter at Sandy Park on November 10th.

The Bears have won four of their last seven away games in Premiership Rugby.

Bristol have won their last two matches against Leicester but have never won three in succession against the Tigers in Premiership Rugby.

Bristol have won just twice at Welford Road since 1987, in the Zurich Championship quarter final in 2002 and last year’s round 20 encounter in Gallagher Premiership Rugby.

Bristol Bears: DLL
Leicester Tigers: LLD


Head-to-head

John Afoa vs Ellis Genge

Experienced All Black, John Afoa is an ever-present in the Bristol Bears side, and lines up against Bristolian England international, Ellis Genge in a tasty contest in the front row. 

Will Hurrell vs Kyle Eastmond

Will Hurrell returns the Bears midfield this weekend, and the powerhouse centre takes on the nifty Kyle Eastmond at Welford Road, in a battle of contrasting styles in the number 12 shirt.


Statto's corner

  • Nathan Hughes will make his 100th Premiership appearance at Welford Road on Saturday
  • Bristol have won their last two matches against Leicester but have never won three in succession against the Tigers in Premiership Rugby
  • Bristol have won just twice at Welford Road since 1987, in the Zurich Championship quarter final in 2002 and last year’s round 20 encounter in Gallagher Premiership Rugby

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