Leicester set for changes but Tuilagi in line for return to action

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Leicester Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy has indicated that he may make changes to his side for this weekend’s European Challenge Cup fixture against Cardiff Blues.

The Irishman is quoted by the Leicester Mercury as saying “You have to pick the right team for the club. It is an unusual period because we want to keep the momentum going and get a win this weekend but we also need to give guys game time because we are coming into a spell where we need to get guys to play in the Premiership.

“It is incredibly difficult. The coaches sat down a couple of weeks ago and went through that dilemma and we talked about a lot of different permutations. In Europe so far we have given opportunities to players to play and I think they have done a good job for us.

“The balancing act for us this weekend again is that we want to keep the momentum so we will have a very similar side to those we have had in Europe so far.”

Murphy has called upon his star players for the last three weeks of Gallagher Premiership action as Leicester try to avoid a potentially calamitous relegation to the Championship, pushing Exeter close, drawing with Harlequins and beating Bristol.

That has kept pressure on Saracens below them and London Irish and Wasps above them but has meant England internationals Ellis Genge, Dan Cole, Ben Youngs, George Ford and Jonny May all starting each game, with the Six Nations just around the corner.

So far Murphy has rotated his squad in European competition, and with the need to get players up to speed ahead of the international period, it sounds as if changes will be made for Sunday’s game again.

However, Manu Tuilagi could be in line to play after missing the last two games with a groin injury. Murphy revealed “Manu is back training with us. He did a full session with us today and potentially will be available for selection. We will see how he pulls up on Friday and see how he goes.”

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