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Premiership Rugby

Persico set for Tykes Debut

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

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.

The Leeds coach has also made two positional changes to the side, with Dan Scarbrough moving from wing to fullback, while Phil Christophers reverts to the wing to accommodate the return of Liam Botham.

Davies has said he was looking forward to Friday night's clash: "Headingley are something special and it has an atmosphere all of its 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 back row 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 Rugby 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."

Leeds Tykes: 15 Dan Scarbrough, 14 Phil Christophers, 13 Tristan Davies, 12 Liam Botham, 11 David Rees, 10 Duncan Hodge, 9 Alan Dickens, 8 Dan Hyde, 7 James Ponton, 6 Matt Salter, 5 Stuart Hooper, 4 Phil Murphy, 3 Gary Powell, 2 Rob Rawlinson, 1 Mike Shelley (captain).Replacements: 16 Simon Halford, 17 Matt Holt, 18 Scott Morgan, 19 Aaron Persico, 20 Ryan Walker, 21 Matt Cardey, 22 Tim Walsh.

Kick-off: 20.00


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