Castrogiovanni will start, pushing Dan Cole to the bench

Martin Castrogiovanni and Louis Deacon make their first starting appearances of the season as Leicester Tigers host London Irish on Saturday (3.05pm).

Tighthead prop Castrogiovanni and lock Deacon have made only one appearance each as a replacement since returning from Rugby World Cup duty, but are ready to return to the Tigers team at Welford Road this weekend.

Castrogiovanni comes into the front row as Dan Cole, starter in each of the two games since his return to the club, switches to a place among the replacements, and Deacon comes into the second row, with George Skivington on the bench.

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “We had a good win at Sale last week but it is just one game and we know we have to build on that. We have to be looking for a more complete performance moving on from here because we made some errors at Sale, especially in the first half. London Irish score plenty of tries, as we saw here last year, and they are a very dangerous team.”

Ben Youngs, Manu Tuilagi, Mathew Tait, Anthony Allen and Billy Twelvetrees are unavailable due to injury and scrum-half Micky Young played an hour of Monday’s Development XV match as he works his way back from a calf problem.

Saturday’s match will attract the biggest attendance of the season so far at Welford Road, but tickets are available. Phone the Tigers ticket office on 0844 856 1880, call in at Welford Road (open 8.30am-5pm Friday and from 9am Saturday) or book online and collect from the collection point outside the Caterpillar Stand on the way to the game.

Leicester Tigers Staring XV:
15 Geordan Murphy (c)
14 Scott Hamilton
13 Horacio Agulla
12 Matt Smith
11 Alesana Tuilagi
10 Toby Flood
9 Sam Harrison
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 George Chuter
3 Martin Castrogiovanni
4 Louis Deacon
5 Geoff Parling
6 Tom Croft
7 Julian Salvi
8 Thomas Waldrom

16 Tom Youngs
17 Boris Stankovich
18 Dan Cole
19 George Skivington
20 Ed Slater
21 James Grindal
22 Jeremy Staunton
23 Niall Morris