Matt Smith: Leicester Tigers centre returns for LV= Cup tie

Matt Smith

Fit-again Leicester centre Matt Smith will make his first start of the season in Friday's LV= Cup tie at Worcester.

The 27-year-old broke a thumb in pre-season and made a brief appearance as a replacement in the Premiership fixture against Harlequins earlier this month.

Smith is one of several experienced players in an otherwise youthful looking Leicester line-up.

Jordan Crane starts at number 8 and winger Miles Benjamin faces his former club after a lengthy spell out injured.

Tigers secured a bonus-point win over Ospreys in their opening LV= Cup game last Friday.

Director of rugby Cockerill said: "It was good to see the young lads step up and play well in a competitive first-team game.

"Some of those young guys are in the team this week and will have to step up again.

"There's a bit of experience with Boris (Stankovich), Jordan and Scotty Hamilton in there to hold it together.

"Worcester will be a new challenge for this team.

"They won last week and will be looking to gain some momentum, so it is down to our guys to back up last week's performance."


Worcester: Howard; Stephenson, Stelling, Symons, Fatiaki; Warwick, Arr; Fainga'anuku, Brooker, O'Donnell, Percival, Galarza, Betty, Abbott, Thomas (capt).

Replacements: Shervington, Becasseau, Murray, Scotland-Williamson, de Carpentier, de Cothi, Mieres, Hammond.

Leicester Tigers: Hamilton; Purdy, Smith, Pohe, Benjamin; Williams, Mélé; Stankovich (capt), Thacker, Balmain, Cain, de Chaves, Noone, Gibson, Crane.

Replacements: Briggs, Bristow, Schuster, Price, Wells, Tresidder, Dunn, Humphreys.

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