Jonny May and Will Spencer return to the Leicester Tigers European Rugby Champions Cup team for Friday’s Heineken Champions Cup game against the Scarlets at Welford Road (7.45pm).
England international wing May, who has five tries already this season, is back after a shoulder injury and lock Spencer is in his first game back after suspension.
Harry Wells makes his 50th appearance for the club and joins Spencer at lock, with Mike Williams reverting to a role in the back row alongside Guy Thompson and Sione Kalamafoni this week. Brendon O’Connor and David Denton are both ruled out by injury.
Jonah Holmes, called up to the Wales squad for the first time this week, continues at full-back and Jordan Olowofela is named on the wing after making his European debut against Ulster last Saturday.
Graham Kitchener returns to the matchday squad for the Round 2 fixture in Pool 4 and there is also a place among the replacements for Argentina international prop Facundo Gigena.
Match tickets are still available for Friday. Book in person at Welford Road, phone the ticket office on 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online at leicestertigers.com
Leicester Tigers (vs Scarlets, Welford Road, Friday 7.45pm)
15 Jonah Holmes
14 Jonny May
13 Manu Tuilagi
12 Kyle Eastmond
11 Jordan Olowofela
10 George Ford
9 Ben Youngs
1 Greg Bateman
2 Tom Youngs (c)
3 Dan Cole
4 Harry Wells
5 Will Spencer
6 Mike Williams
7 Guy Thompson
8 Sione Kalamafoni
16 Tatafu Polota-Nau
17 Facundo Gigena
18 Joe Heyes
19 Graham Kitchener
20 Tommy Reffell
21 Sam Harrison
22 Matt Toomua
23 Adam Thompstone
Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Ioan Nicholas, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (c), 3 Samson Lee, 4 Tom Price, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Joshua Macleod, 8 Will Boyde
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Phil Price, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Joshua Helps, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Paul Asquith
Leicester Tigers are back on home ground this evening on the 22nd anniversary of the club’s first home game in European competition.
After opening their first European campaign with an away win over Leinster in the 1996/97 season, Tigers then recorded a big win over Scottish Borders on October 19, 1996 with Rory Underwood, John Liley and Eric Miller among the tryscorers. There is a full recap from that game in Friday’s 100-page match programme, available around the stadium.
Tigers and Scarlets were both beaten in Pool 4 last week in the opening round of this season’s Heineken Champions Cup, giving their meeting in Round 2 even greater importance this evening.
The teams meet for a sixth time in European Cup history, with Tigers winning four of the previous encounters, including semi-finals in 2001 and 2007. Scarlets will be making only their third visit to Welford Road since the formation of regional rugby in Wales.
Welford Road hosts its 71st fixture in Europe’s elite tournament, making it the most-used venue in the tournament. Leicester’s overall record in Europe at the stadium is played 70, won 58, drawn two, lost 10. Click here for some Welford Road memories in European rugby.
Geordan Murphy, a four-time finalist as a Tigers player and now in charge of team affairs as interim head coach, said: “We were really disappointed, obviously, last week after starting the game so well, and this is another massive game.
“We know what the Scarlets can do, their outside backs are very dangerous and they like to get the ball wide to give those players opportunities. They have a competitive pack as well. You can’t give them a lot of ball in your half of the field.”
In team news announced ahead of the game, Tigers include Jonny May and Graham Kitchener after injury and bring back Will Spencer after suspension. British & Irish Lions trio Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens start for Scarlets who have also called up Tigers academy graduate Tom Price as a replacement for the injured international lock Jake Ball.
French official Romain Poite is the match referee after taking charge of defending champions Leinster against Wasps in Round 1.
Tigers will wear the club’s traditional red, white and green colours in all six pool fixtures in the Champions Cup this season.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm and there is live coverage on BT Sport.
If you are not attending the game or are unable to watch on TV, you can keep up to date with all of the action using the Matchday Live service on the Tigers website, mobile website and official app. Or follow the club’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Match tickets will be available ahead of kick-off. Book in person at Welford Road, phone the ticket office on 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online at leicestertigers.com