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Premiership Rugby

Leeds Tykes name side NEC Harlequins

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

In this weeks edition of Tykes Talk Phil Davies talks about the Tykes trip to NEC Harlequins this Saturday, kick off 3pm.

We were all disappointed with the performance last week at Northampton and we know that collectively we must improve this week. It was particularly disappointing after we looked to be getting back to our best the previous week against Quins at Headingley.

We have had a good week this week and the squad is now beginning to get back to full strength.  Alix Popham and Aaron Persico will start in the back row together for the first time this week which will be a boost for us. I'm sure when every team planned their squad during the summer they looked at the season from this point on as being critical when everyone was back and we are no different.  We have Alan Dickens, Tom Palmer and Gavin Kerr unavailable through long term injury but we now have competition for places in every position in the team.  The players that have played during the World Cup have really pushed their claims for a regular place so there are some tough decisions to be made but that keeps the whole team at the top of their game.

Mark Regan rejoined us this week after winning the World Cup and we were delighted to see him back in Leeds.  Although he was not part of the Final team, he, along with the rest of the England team, has sacrificed so much over the years to be in Sydney and we are immensely proud that he was representing the Tykes in Australia.

It will be strange to come up against Quins again so soon after our last two games against them.  Saturday's game will be the third game between us in six weeks so we know each other fairly well.  Quins are an extremely tough side to break down, especially at home, and I'm sure there will be a great atmosphere there with Jason Leonard and Will Greenwood returning home as well. They have an extremely talented back row who can dictate a game if you give them the opportunity and in Paul Burke they have one of the most consistent goal kickers in the Premiership, so we must keep our discipline.


Phil Davies has made seven changes to the side that lost to Northampton last weekend. Rob Rawlinson is ruled out with a shoulder injury so Matt Holt moves from prop to hooker with Gary Powell coming into the starting line up at prop.  Phil Murphy replaces Stuart Hooper in the second row and Alix Popham and Aaron Persico come into the back row for James Ponton and Matt Salter.

In the backs South African international Andre Snyman will make his full debut in the centres alongside Tristan Davies.

Mark Regan is amongst the replacements following his return from the World Cup.

The team in full is:


15. Dan Scarbrough14. David Rees 13. Andre Snyman12. Tristan Davies11. Diego Albanese10. Gordon Ross9. Clive Stuart Smith


1. Mike Shelley (c)2. Matt Holt3. Gary Powell4. Phil Murphy5. Scott Morgan 6. Aaron Persico7. Dan Hyde8. Alix Popham


16. Michael Cusack17. Mark Regan18. Stuart Hooper19. James Ponton20. Ryan Walker21. Phil Christophers22. Tim Walsh

Previous Meetings

31 Oct 2003 Tykes 16 Quins 3004 Apr 2003 Tykes 23 Quins 2214 Sep 2002 Quins 23 Tykes 3303 May 2002 Quins 40 Tykes 1609 Dec 2001 Tykes 23 Quins 18



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