Heineken Cup Pool 5: Leicester v Montpellier match preview

Last Updated: 08/12/13 11:37am

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Vereniki Goneva: Fijian international returns to bolster Leicester

Vereniki Goneva: Fijian international returns to bolster Leicester

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Leicester are able to call on fit-again Vereniki Goneva and Ed Slater for Sunday's home Heineken Cup clash against Montpellier.

Fijian international Goneva reclaims a spot at centre alongside Dan Bowden, with Adam Thompstone reverting to his usual place on the wing.

Meanwhile, second-rower Slater is named amongst the replacements, along with Ryan Lamb - who also returns from injury - David Mélé and Blaine Scully.

"We've come through with some good results recently and there is a good spirit in the squad but we know we're going to have to raise the bar again," said Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

"Montpellier have a very good team, they are very combative and physical, and have a good backline too. This is a good challenge for us and we're going to need players on top of their game."

Montpellier are making a first-ever trip to Welford Road with both sides winning one of their open two fixtures in Pool 5.

The French outfit have named former All Black Rene Ranger at outside centre for the encounter at Welford Road. Having made two appearances on the wing, Ranger makes his first start in French club's midfield along side Thomas Combezou.

Montpellier also welcome back Fijian international wing Timoci Nagusa from international duty in a much-changed side.

Former Springbok centre Wynand Olivier is on the wing, but there is no place in the matchday 22 for his countryman Robert Ebersohn.

Argentine prop Maximiliano Bustos starts at tighthead and Jonathan Pelissie is preferred to Benoit Paillaugue at scrum-half, but Anthony Tuitavake, Nicolas Mas, Robins Tchale-Watchou and Alexandre Bias are all notable absentees from the travelling squad.

Leicester: 15 Hamilton, 14 Thompstone, 13 Goneva, 12 Bowden, 11 Benjamin, 10 Flood (c), 9 Youngs, 8 Crane, 7 Salvi, 6 Gibson, 5 Kitchener, 4 Deacon, 3 Cole, 2 Youngs, 1 Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Briggs, 17 Stankovich, 18 Balmain, 19 Slater, 20 Waldrom, 21 Mele 22 Scully, 23 Lamb

Montpellier: 15 Floch, 14 Nagusa, 13 Ranger, 12 Combezou , 11 Audrin, 10 Trinh Duc, 9 Pelissie, 8 Beattie, 7 Gorgodze, 6 Galletier, 5 De Marco, 4 Hamilton, 3 Bustos, 2 Geli, 1 Leleimalefaga.
Replacements: 16 Bianchin, 17 Nariashvili, 18 Fa'anunu, 19 Privat, 20 Tulou, 21 Paillaugue, 22 Olivier, 23 Berard

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