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Preview: Leicester Tigers v London Irish

Preview: Leicester Tigers v London Irish

Leicester Tigers and London Irish do battle this weekend as the last two standing for the Guinness Premiership crown and the right to be called Guinness Premiership Champions Season 2008-2009.

Leicester Tigers Preview

Geordan Murphy will lead out Leicester Tigers for the Guinness Premiership Final at Twickenham on Saturday. The Irish full-back has been confirmed as captain as Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill makes just one charge to the starting line-up following last week’s victory over Bath Rugby in the semi-finals. Prop Martin Castrogiovanni is ruled out and is replaced in the front row by England international Julian White. Louis Deacon returns from injury to claim a place among the replacements and prop Dan Cole steps up into the matchday 22.

"The guys have come through some intense games in very good shape and we have kept changes to a minimum," said Cockerill.n"We started very well against Bath last Saturday, probably as well as we have started any game this season, and we deserved to win in the end. You have to keep improving week to week but Irish are a good side and, now we are into a final, we know we have to show our best form."

Leicester Tigers

15 Geordan Murphy (captain)
14 Scott Hamilton
13 Ayoola Erinle
12 Dan Hipkiss
11 Johne Murphy
10 Sam Vesty
  9 Julien Dupuy
  1 Marcos Ayerza
  2 George Chuter
  3 Julian White
  4 Tom Croft
  5 Ben Kay
  6 Craig Newby
  7 Ben Woods
  8 Jordan Crane


16 Benjamin Kayser
17 Dan Cole
18 Louis Deacon
19 Lewis Moody
20 Harry Ellis
21 Matt Smith
22 Tom Varndell

London Irish Preview

London Irish has announced an unchanged starting line-up for the Guinness Premiership Final with Leicester Tigers at Twickenham Stadium. There are no changes to the team that defeated Harlequins in last Saturday’s semi-final although there will be a late fitness test on Nick Kennedy who picked up a knee injury in that match. Bob Casey leads a 22-man squad that features 13 full internationals and boasts considerable big match experience. Mike Catt retains his place at fly half.

"We’ve worked hard to create the chance to compete in the Final of the Guinness Premiership and we’re looking forward to a great occasion," said London Irish Head Coach, Toby Booth. "Leicester Tigers are always there or thereabouts at finals time, however the statistics show that being in and winning a final are two completely different things. If we perform well tomorrow, we have a good chance of winning. Our self-belief over a long season has earned us this opportunity and we intend having no regrets come the final whistle."

London Irish

15 Peter Hewat
14 Adam Thompstone
13 Delon Armitage
12 Seilala Mapusua
11 Sailosi Tagickibau
10 Mike Catt
  9 Paul Hodgson
  1 Clarke Dermody
  2 Danie Coetzee
  3 Richard Skuse
  4 Nick Kennedy
  5 Bob Casey (captain)
  6 Declan Danaher
  7 Steffon Armitage
  8 Chris Hala’Ufia


16 Alex Corbisiero
17 James Buckland
18 James Hudson
19 Richard Thorpe
20 Elvis Seveali’i
21 Peter Richards
22 Tom Homer

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