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Tigers line-up for Cup opener


 
Leicester Tigers will give home debuts to half-backs George Ford and Jason Spice in the opening
 Cup match of the season against Harlequins on Friday evening
 
On-loan lock Ben Gulliver is given his Tigers debut, while Dan Hipkiss returns from injury for his first outing since the defeat at Saracens at the beginning of October.

Captain for the day Jordan Crane, Julian White, Steve Mafi and Ben Pienaar all make their first start of the season.

“We’ve got some guys away with England, but there’s plenty of experience in there with guys like Whitey, Dan and Jordan,” said Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

“And Jason Spice will be important for us in the next few weeks. He’s taken no time to settle in here, he’s a good player, he’s done a lot in the game and he knows what we are looking for.

“It’s good to get Jordan and Dan back from injury and we’ll see George Ford in senior company.

“There are a lot of good players in there who need game-time and in this spell of the season you want the players to really put down a marker and show that they deserve their opportunities.”

Tigers have incorporated a poppy in the design of the club shirt for Friday’s game in support of the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal. The shirts will be made available for auction, with proceeds going to the appeal. A minute’s silence will be observed and the playing of The Last Post by a bugler will precede kick-off at 7.30pm.

Match tickets are available now. Phone the Tigers ticket hotline on 0844 856 1880, call in at the Tigers ticket office at Welford Road (open until 5pm Thursday and from 9am on Friday). Or book online and collect on your way to the match.

Leicester Tigers (v Harlequins, Welford Road, Friday 7.30pm)
15 Lucas Amorosino
14 Alesana Tuilagi
13 Dan Hipkiss
12 Billy Twelvetrees
11 Horacio Agulla
10 George Ford
9 Jason Spice
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 Rob Hawkins
3 Julian White
4 Calum Green
5 Ben Gulliver
6 Steve Mafi
7 Ben Pienaar
8 Jordan Crane (c)

Replacements
16 Joe Duffey
17 Martin Castrogiovanni
18 Peter Bucknall
19 Ed Slater
20 Thomas Waldrom
21 James Grindal
22 Geordan Murphy
23 Manu Tuilagi

Harlequins: 15 Tom Williams, 14 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 13 Ollie Smith, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Gonzalo Camacho, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 1 Ceri Jones, 2 Joe Gray, 3 John Andress, 4 Tomas Vallejos, 5 George Robson, 6 Chris Robshaw (c), 7 Will Skinner, 8 Tom Guest

Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Mark Lambert, 19 Olly Kohn, 20 Maurie Fa’Asavalu, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Benjamin Urdapiletta

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