Youngs and Ford among England players rested as Leicester host Castres


Ben Youngs is one of a number of England players rested by Leicester
European Champions Cup
Venue: Stade Pierre Antoine Date: Sunday, 14 January Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Coverage: Live score updates on BBC local radio and on the BBC Sport website and app

Leicester have rested their England players for their penultimate European Champions Cup pool game against Castres on Sunday.

Ben Youngs, George Ford, Jonny May and Dan Cole played in the Premiership win against London Irish but miss the trip to France.

The Tigers are bottom of pool four, with one win from their four games.

Castres are third in the group, needing a win to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Dominic Ryan, Tom Brady and Pat Cilliers return to the Leicester team after injury, Will Evans gets a recall, while Sam Harrison takes over at scrum-half from Youngs.

Michele Rizzo, who has been on loan with Edinburgh, returns to take a place among the replacements.

Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “It was good to get the Premiership win against London Irish last week but we were disappointed with the performance and there is plenty to work on.

“We’ve had to make some changes for this week with the England players required to rest in the build-up to the Six Nations and guys like Logo Mulipola, Manu Tuilagi and Matt Toomua all coming back into a tough schedule of games recently after significant injury absences.

“Their absence provides an opportunity for other players to go out there, put in a performance and stake their claim.”

Sunday’s team news

Castres: Geoffrey Palis; Kylian Jaminet, Thomas Combezou, Florian Vialelle, Armand Batlle; Benjamin Urdapilleta, Ludovic Radosavljevic ; Antoine Tichit, Marc-Antoine Rallier, Damien Tussac, Alexandre Bias, Thibault Lassalle, Yannick Caballero, Mathieu Babillot (capt), Alex Tulou

Replacements: Kevin Firmin, Tudor Stroe, Daniel Kotze, Victor Moreaux, Steve Mafi, Yohan Domenech, Yohan Le Bourhis, Julien Dumora

Leicester Tigers: George Worth; Tom Brady, Matt Smith, Charlie Thacker, Adam Thompstone; Joe Ford, Sam Harrison; Greg Bateman (capt), Harry Thacker, Pat Cilliers, Harry Wells, Michael Fitzgerald, Dominic Ryan, William Evans, Tino Mapapalangi

Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Michele Rizzo, Ben Betts, Joe Maksymiw, Brendon O’Connor, Harry Simmons, Matthew Tait, Nick Malouf

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