Scrum-half Youngs to skipper Tigers in European showdown
BUT BROTHER, GENGE, COLE AND LIEBENBERG NOT IN SQUAD
BEN Youngs returns to captain Leicester Tigers in their European Challenge Cup last 16 tie against Connacht tonight (8pm).
The scrum-half hasn’t featured for his club since January 3 as he moved to 103 England caps with five starts during the
Surprisingly, he has been partnered with Johnny McPhillips in the half-backs, with George Ford not named in the squad for the Mattioli Woods Welford Road encounter.
Also not in the 23-man squad named by head coach Steve Borthwick are Ellis Genge, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole and Hanro Liebenberg.
George Martin, who earned his first England cap against Ireland and appeared from the bench in Tigers’ win over Newcastle Falcons last weekend, starts on the back row which also include Luke Wallace and Jasper Wiese. Recent signings Nic Dolly and Will Hurd are set for their debuts from the bench as front-row replacements.
Freddie Steward also steps out of the starting line-up but remains in the squad, with Zack Henry operating from full-back.
Harry Wells and Tommy Reffell, both influential in the win over Newcastle, also provide cover from the bench.
Borthwick said: “This is an exciting game for us.
“Connacht are a very good team and have shown that this season, including some very good results away from home.
“They are a side who have varying styles in the way they can play the game.” Tigers progressed into the knock-out stages after defeating Brive and Bayonne in the pool stages, which were cut short due to Covid-19 related reasons.
The winner of tonight’s tie will face either Ospreys or Newcastle Falcons next weekend in a home quarterfinal.
This is a very exciting game for us. Connacht have varying styles in the way they can play
Steve Bortwick, right