Leicester v Wasps: Teams
At Welford Road, Saturday January 9, live on Sky Sports 1 & HD1 from 3pm
Last Updated: 09/01/10 5:27pm
Croft: Tigers return
England flanker Tom Croft returns to the Leicester squad for Saturday's home game against London Wasps.
Croft has recovered from an injury suffered in the win over Leeds Carnegie before Christmas and takes a place among the replacements.
Fellow international forwards Lewis Moody, Marcos Ayerza and Craig Newby return to the starting line-up as Head Coach Richard Cockerill makes changes following victory over Saracens.
Anthony Allen is ruled out by an ankle injury and former Wasps fly-half Jeremy Staunton returns to the Tigers backline.
"I was very pleased with the way we played at Saracens," said Cockerill.
"The result was very important, but the way we played was impressive too. We controlled the ball, we stood up to a very good pack and our accuracy was much better.
"Wasps are a good side and they've got a good record against us. They are also the team just behind us in the table so it is very important for us to keep our run going.
"Lewis Moody has had his rest and he is desperate to get out there playing for us again, and having Crofty back in the squad is also important."
As well as Allen, Tigers are without Martin Castrogiovanni, Aaron Mauger, Geordan Murphy and Julian White due to injury.
Meanwhile, Wasps have made five changes to the starting line up that missed out on victory at the hands of Newcastle last weekend.
Tony Hanks brings in a new look back line with Mark van Gisbergen, Paul Sackey and Ben Jacobs back in the XV. Danny Cipriani starts at ten and, in the only change to the forward pack, Ben Broster returns to the front row following recovery from a calf strain.
On the bench, Dave Walder and former Tiger Tom Varndell are named amongst the 23.
"Mark Van Gisbergen and Ben Jacobs are promoted back into the starting line-up this weekend," said Hanks.
"Paul Sackey returns to the number fourteen shirt and I think he is playing towards the top his game as seen with a very strong performance at Twickenham against Harlequins.
"Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half, having shown continued improvement in his increasing game time and was threatening with the ball in hand at ten and fifteen last weekend.
"Facing Leicester at Welford Road is the best kind of challenge for us on the back of last weekend's defeat. Going up to Leicester is the kind of task that forces you to bounce back and refocus pretty quickly.
"Wasps Leicester games always get the supporters revved up and the rivalry only adds to the intensity of the game. I think playing each other in a short time frame makes this even more exciting and we will be going up there with every ambition to uphold a solid record both home and away in previous clashes."
Leicester: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Jeremy Staunton, 11 Lote Tuqiri , 10 Toby Flood , 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Craig Newby, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon (capt), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Mefin Davies, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Robbie Harris, 19 Tom Croft, 20 Brett Deacon, 21 James Grindal, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Alesana Tuilagi.
Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 David Lemi, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Mark Robinson, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Will Matthews, 6 John Hart (capt), 5 George Skivington, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Sakaria Taulafo, 18 Gabriel Bocca, 19 Marty Veale, 20 Dan Leo, 21 James Honeyben, 22 Dave Walder, 23 Tom Varndell.