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Leicester Tigers team for Aviva Premiership opener

Leicester Tigers will give club debuts to summer signings JP Pietersen and Luke Hamilton in the opening game of the Aviva Premiership season at Gloucester Rugby on Friday.

World Cup winner Pietersen is named on the wing, with Hamilton in the back row as Tigers and Gloucester set the ball rolling in the league’s curtain-raiser at Kingsholm.

Another summer arrival, hooker George McGuigan, is included among the replacements alongside England international props Dan Cole and Ellis Genge, and scrum-half Ben Youngs.

Club captain Tom Youngs leads the team at Kingsholm, with Argentina international Marcos Ayerza starting at loosehead prop in his 11th season with the Tigers.

Pietersen joins fellow internationals Mathew Tait, Telusa Veainu, Peter Betham, Manu Tuilagi and Freddie Burns in the backline, while Sam Harrison returns to scrum-half after starting in the No10 shirt in the final pre-season fixture against the Ospreys last weekend.

Friday’s match is broadcast live by BT Sport, kick-off is at 7.45pm.

Leicester Tigers (v Gloucester Rugby, away, Friday September 2, 7.45pm)

15 Mathew Tait
14 Telusa Veainu
13 Peter Betham
12 Manusamoa Tuilagi
11 JP Pietersen
10 Freddie Burns
9 Sam Harrison
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 Tom Youngs (c)
3 Greg Bateman
4 Ed Slater
5 Dom Barrow
6 Luke Hamilton
7 Brendon O’Connor
8 Lachlan McCaffrey

Replacements
16 George McGuigan
17 Ellis Genge
18 Dan Cole
19 Graham Kitchener
20 Will Evans
21 Ben Youngs
22 Matt Smith
23 Adam Thompstone

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