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Leicester Tigers team news for final round of Gallagher Premiership season

Leicester Tigers team news for final round of Gallagher Premiership season

Leicester Tigers will say some fond farewells in the final game of the season at Welford Road on Saturday.

As Tom Youngs returns from suspension to captain Tigers in the Gallagher Premiership Round 22 fixture against Bath Rugby, seven of his team-mates will be making a final appearance in the club’s colours, including Matt Smith who retires after 228 appearances in 14 seasons in the senior squad to become head coach at the club’s academy.

Graham Kitchener, Mike Fitzgerald and Brendon O’Connor all start in the forward pack for a final time as Tigers players, while Clayton Blommetjies ends his short spell at the club with a starting role on the wing. Valentino Mapapalangi and Leonardo Sarto, who are also leaving the club, are named among the replacements.

With Jonny May and Telusa Veainu ruled out, George Worth comes in at full-back to join Sam Aspland-Robinson and Blommetjies in the back three, with Smith joined by the returning Kyle Eastmond at centre.

George Ford, who this week added the supporters’ Player of the Year Award to the Players’ Player honour, is at fly-half.

Tom Hardwick, one of 10 graduates of the Tigers academy in the matchday squad, is called up to join the replacements.

Head coach Geordan Murphy said: “We’ve been carrying a few bumps and bruises, but this is an opportunity to go out there and try to put on a performance that the crowd and the players can take pride in after a disappointing season.

“The supporters have been fantastic for us in tough times and we want to end the season on a positive note.”

Leicester Tigers (v Bath Rugby, Welford Road, Saturday 4.00pm)

15 George Worth
14 Sam Aspland-Robinson
13 Matt Smith
12 Kyle Eastmond
11 Clayton Blommetjies
10 George Ford
9 Sam Harrison

1 Ellis Genge
2 Tom Youngs (c)
3 Dan Cole
4 Will Spencer
5 Graham Kitchener
6 Mike Fitzgerald
7 Brendon O’Connor
8 Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements

16 Tatafu Polota-Nau
17 Facundo Gigena
18 Joe Heyes
19 Harry Wells
20 Valentino Mapapalangi
21 Ben White
22 Tom Hardwick
23 Leonardo Sarto

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