Jean on bench for Leicester

Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has been picked on the bench for Leicester Tigers in their Aviva Premiership clash against Harlequins at The Twickenham Stoop on Friday evening.

De Villiers, who retired from international rugby after breaking his jaw during last year’s World Cup, joined the Tigers in October 2015 but a subsequent calf injury prevented him from making his debut for the club.

Meanwhile, Manu Tuilagi, Brendon O'Connor and Ed Slater also return from injury to start against Harlequins.

Tuilagi has missed the last three games with a hamstring strain, while O'Connor makes his first appearance since the derby match against Northampton Saints in early January. Club captain Slater returns after a seven-week absence with a knee injury.

Mathew Tait reverts to fullback to accommodate the return of Tuilagi at centre, with Telusa Veainu joining Peter Betham on the wings.

Slater is joined by Mike Fitzgerald in the second row, with Laurence Pearce following his try-scoring appearance at Newcastle Falcons last week with a recall to the back row alongside Tom Croft and O'Connor.

Kick-off is scheduled for 21:45 SA time (19:45 London time) on Friday.

Teams:

Leicester

15 Mathew Tait, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Telusa Veainu, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Laurence Pearce, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Ed Slater (captain), 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Marcos Ayerza

Substitutes: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Riccardo Brugnara, 18 Logovi'i Mulipola, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Oli Bryant, 23 Jean de Villiers

Harlequins

15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Harry Sloan, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Mat Luamanu, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 James Horwill (captain), 3 Adam Jones, Dave Ward, 1 Mark Lambert

Substitutes: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 George Merrick, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Sam Egerton, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Matt Hopper

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