manu tuilagi leicester and england saxonsLeicester Tigers welcome back six senior internationals for the return to Aviva Premiership action at Leeds Carnegie on Sunday. Director of rugby Richard Cockerill includes Scott Hamilton, Alesana Tuilagi, Craig Newby and the front-row combination of Marcos Ayerza, George Chuter and Julian White after they sat out the last two rounds of LV= Cup fixtures.

Manu Tuilagi and Billy Twelvetrees return to the squad following their England Saxons debuts and flanker Ben Woods makes his first Premiership start since the end of October after recovering from a wrist injury.

“We know it will be a tough battle – it always has been up at Leeds,” said Cockerill. “It will be a tough, uncompromising game, Leeds are desperate for the points and we’ve got to make sure we battle for everything as much as they do.

“We’ve got a few players away but we’ve had a good week’s preparation.

“These four Premiership games during the international period are massive for us. If we can take a good share of points in this period then we will be up there contesting semi-finals places in the run-in and that is what we are looking for.”

The Aviva Premiership leaders have five players on Six Nations duty, while Jordan Crane (knee), Ed Slater (foot) and Matt Smith (hamstring) are ruled out by injury this week. Geordan Murphy, Ben Pienaar, Geoff Parling and Tom Croft are also sidelined.

Leicester Tigers (v Leeds Carnegie, away, Sunday 3pm)

15 Scott Hamilton

14 Horacio Agulla

13 Manu Tuilagi

12 Anthony Allen

11 Alesana Tuilagi

10 Jeremy Staunton

9 James Grindal

1 Marcos Ayerza

2 George Chuter

3 Julian White

4 Steve Mafi

5 George Skivington

6 Craig Newby (c)

7 Ben Woods

8 Thomas Waldrom


16 Joe Duffey

17 Boris Stankovich

18 Peter Bucknall

19 Calum Green

20 Dan Hemingway

21 Sam Harrison

22 Billy Twelvetrees

23 Dan Hipkiss