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Leicester Tigers team news for the return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action

Leicester Tigers give league debuts to five summer signings in the opening fixture of the Aviva Premiership season at London Irish this Sunday.

Summer arrivals Peter Betham, Greg Bateman, Mike Williams, Mike Fitzgerald and Lachlan McCaffrey all run out for the first time in a competitive fixture for the club, with Australia international Betham and second-rower Fitzgerald starting an Aviva Premiership game for the first time in their careers.
 
Back-rower Opeti Fonua and young scrum-half Ben White are also looking to make their first Tigers appearance from the replacements.
 
Fonua is included in the squad after reporting back from international duty with Tonga in time to play a part in the Kings of the North victory against Sale Sharks last weekend. Marcos Ayerza remains on World Cup duty with Argentina, while the other World Cup players have reported back to Welford Road and have been rested for this weekend.
 
Mathew Tait leads the team in the absence of club captain Ed Slater.
 
There is a timely return for Owen Williams who is recalled to the matchday squad for the first time since suffering a knee ligament injury in the Cup victory at Cardiff Blues in February.
 
Freddie Burns, though, is ruled out after an injury in the fixture against Sale Sharks last weekend was confirmed as a broken jaw. Director of rugby Richard Cockerill has confirmed that the injury is likely to sideline Burns for 6-8 weeks. Tommy Bell starts at fly-half.
 
Leicester Tigers (v London Irish, away, Sunday 3.15pm)

15 Mathew Tait (c) 
14 Adam Thompstone 
13 Peter Betham 
12 Seremaia Bai 
11 Matt Smith 
10 Tommy Bell
9 Sam Harrison 
1 Logovi'i Mulipola 
2 Greg Bateman    
3 Fraser Balmain  
4 Mike Williams  
5 Mike Fitzgerald
6 Tom Croft
7 Lachlan McCaffrey
8 Laurence Pearce 

Replacements
16 Harry Thacker 
17 Riccardo Brugnara 
18 Tiziano Pasquali 
19 Sebastian de Chaves  
20 Opeti Fonua
21 Ben White  
22 Owen Williams 
23 George Catchpole

To see all of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby Season fixtures, please click here #AvivaP
 

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