Head coach Pat Howard has announced his Leicester Tigers team for the Guinness Premiership Final against Gloucester Rugby on Saturday, the second of three Twickenham finals this season.
With Harry Ellis counted out by the knee ligament injury which ended his season during the semi-final win over Bristol last weekend, Frank Murphy starts at scrum-half. Murphy is in his first season at Tigers after a switch from Munster, but his recent form has earned a call-up to the Ireland A squad for this summer’s Churchill Cup and he has made 22 appearances in all competitions this term.
“It is obviously very disappointing for Harry, I really feel for him, but I have every confidence in Frank Murphy,” said Howard. “He has been involved in a lot of games this season and he has been playing well.”
Andy Goode starts at fly-half, with the backline completed by Alesana Tuilagi, Ollie Smith, Dan Hipkiss, Seru Rabeni and Geordan Murphy.
In the forwards, Julian White starts at tighthead prop, with Louis Deacon claiming a spot in the second row alongside Ben Kay as the only two changes to the pack that helped beat Bristol last Saturday to earn a place at Twickenham.
Alex Moreno and Leo Cullen provide experienced cover on the bench, with Ben Youngs joining Sam Vesty and Tom Varndell as the backs replacements.
Howard had to finalise his team without Ellis and prop Martin Castrogiovanni, who was this week named Guinness Premiership Player of the Season, while Daryl Gibson and Scott Bemand are working their way back from injury.
Leicester: G Murphy; Rabeni, Hipkiss, Smith, A Tuilagi; Goode, F Murphy; Ayerza, Chuter, White, L Deacon, Kay, Moody, Jennings, Corry (capt).
Replacements: Buckland, Moreno, Cullen, B Deacon, B Youngs, Vesty, Varndell.