Jason Leonard, England World Cup Winner and record international appearance holder, will start on the bench for NEC Harlequins in their Zurich Premiership game against Leeds Tykes at the Stoop on Saturday afternoon.
However, Will Greenwood, who was named in the original line up on Thursday and was very keen to play for Quins in front of a packed crowd at the Stoop, has failed a late fitness test on a shoulder injury he picked up playing for England in the Rugby World Cup.
NEC Harlequins make just two changes to the starting XV for the game against Leeds Tykes. Mike Worsley returns to the front row in place of Ceri Jones, having missed out last week against Bath due to illness and Andy Dunne replaces Paul Burke who was injured last weekend. In addition to Jason Leonard coming onto the bench, NEC Harlequins also have Ace Tiatia returning to the twenty two following the calf injury he suffered against Newcastle on 6th October.
“This is a hugely important game for us,” said NEC Harlequins Chief Executive, Mark Evans. “This is the half way point in the season and a win here will consolidate our position in the top half of the table, and enhance our prospects of making the end of season play offs. It has been a great week for English Rugby following the team’s victory in the World Cup Final last Saturday and it has been tremendous to have Will and Jase back amongst the squad. Will was desperately keen to play on Saturday, and was very disappointed when he failed the fitness test this morning. It is important not to take risks with any player and our priority is to get Will back in a NEC Harlequins shirt when he is fully fit.”
“This is the third time in the last five weeks that we have faced Leeds Tykes, so it would be fair to say we know each other very well. As with the previous encounters, it will be a very close game, with domination of the tackle area being crucial. We are looking forward to the challenge, and looking forward to playing in front of our own tremendous supporters at the Stoop.”
NEC Harlequins Vs. Leeds TykesDate: Saturday 29 November 2003 (KO 3.00pm).
15 Josh Taumalolo 14 Simon Keogh 13 Chris Bell 12 Mel Deane 11 Ugo Monye 10 Andy Dunne 9 Ben Willis 1 Mike Worsley 2 Tani Fuga 3 Jon Dawson 4 Bill Davison 5 Jim Evans 6 Pat Sanderson 7 Andre Vos 8 Tony Diprose 16 Ace Tiatia 17 Ceri Jones 18 Jason Leonard 19 Karl Rudzki 20 Roy Winters 21 Rob Jewell 22 Gavin Duffy ENDS
For any further information, please contact Kerrie Stelling (020 8410 6045 / 07990 571807)