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Premiership Rugby

Leeds Tykes name for side for NEC Harlequins

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

In this weeks edition of Tykes Talk Phil Davies looks ahead to the Tykes game against NEC Harlequins at Headingley this Friday, kick off 8.00pm.

Last week saw us snatch a bonus point at Kingsholm. I was obviously disappointed with the final result, no one should ever find losing enjoyable, but after going 21 points down, for the boys to come back like they did they deserve a lot of credit.

If you set yourself a target of making sure you get something out of every game, it is a great base to build on.

This week is another Friday night game at Headingley and I must admit that I have been looking forward to it.  Night games at

Headingley are something special and it has an atmosphere all of it's own under the floodlights.  Last year we fought out an extremely tight game between ourselves and Quins on a Friday night with the result decided in the final seconds and I am sure that the fans are in for another treat this week.

Quins started the season in great form and they have really set themselves up for a big year now.  Their win over Wasps on the opening day was a clear signal to the rest of the Zurich Premiership that they mean business this year.  Recently, they have had a few hiccups but that makes them even more dangerous on Friday.

They have an extremely fast and talented backline and their backrow is one of the best in world rugby, let alone the Premiership.

It is good to return to Headingley this week after winning our last two games at home.  Headingley is an important place for us and we are extremely proud of our record here.

Gradually, our players are now returning to us after the World Cup.  Aaron Persico will hopefully be okay to make his debut on Friday as a replacement and he will be a big addition to our squad plus Diego Albanese is also on his way back to England.  I would like to make a special note of congratulations to Cameron Mather who regained his place in the Scotland side last weekend.  I know the result will not have been what Cammie was after but his call up is fully justified due to his hard work, commitment and dedication. Hopefully this is the start of a renaissance for him in the Scotland team.

PERSICO SET FOR TYKES DEBUT

Italian World Cup international flanker Aaron Persico is set to make his debut for the Tykes on Friday after returning to England following Italy's exit from the competition.  Persico arrived in the country on Wednesday morning and will be amongst the replacements on Friday.  Phil Davies has made two changes to the side that narrowly lost to Gloucester last week with Liam Botham coming in for Tim Walsh and Gary Powell for Simon Halford.  Davies has also made two positional changes to the side with Dan Scarbrough moving from wing to full back and Phil Christophers reverts to the wing to accommodate the return of Liam Botham.

BACKS

15. Dan Scarbrough14. Phil Christophers13. Tristan Davies 12. Liam Botham11. David Rees10. Duncan Hodge9. Alan Dickens

FORWARDS

1. Mike Shelley (c)2. Rob Rawlinson3. Gary Powell4. Phil Murphy5. Stuart Hooper6. Matt Salter7. James Ponton8. Dan Hyde

REPLACEMENTS

16. Simon Halford17. Matt Holt18. Scott Morgan 19. Aaron Persico20. Ryan Walker21. Matt Cardey 22. Tim Walsh

ENDS

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