Aviva Premiership Venue: Welford Road Date: Saturday, 30 September Kick-off: 15:00 BSTCoverage: Live score updates on BBC local radio and on the BBC Sport websiteLuke Hamilton returns to the Leicester Tigers back row in place of the injured Dominic Ryan.Fellow forwards George McGuigan (hand) and Brendon O’Connor (hamstring) are named among the replacements after recovering from injury.Stuart Townsend returns at scrum-half for Exeter as Nic White is rested in the only change among their backs.
Flanker Julian Salvi starts against his former club and Ben Moon, Jack Yeandle and Tomas Francis form the front row.Prop Alex Hepburn is in their matchday squad for the first time in almost nine months, taking his place among their replacements after recovering from a serious knee injury.Leicester Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “We’ve had good results against Gloucester and Harlequins, we’ve taken a lot of positives from those games, but we all know we have to keep taking steps forward.”Exeter are a very efficient team, they like to build pressure on you and they make very few mistakes. We will have to be better again this week.”Exeter head coach Ali Hepher told BBC Radio Devon:”Us as champions going there, they’ll be right on top of their game, that’s for sure.”What we’ve got to do is back it up and perform at the top of our level. If we do, we’re as good an anyone around.”That’s been the focus this week, getting ourselves in the right frame of mind to put a performance on the pitch at Welford Road.”It’s still a tough place to go and they’ll definitely be flying into us.”Match factsLeicester have won their last two Premiership games, at home to Gloucester and away at Harlequins. The Tigers have won three of their last four home games since champions Exeter won at Welford Road in early March.After losing 28-21 at Gloucester on the opening night of the new Premiership season, Exeter now top the table after three successive wins over London Irish, Worcester and Wasps.Leicester have won just one of their last four Premiership meetings with the Chiefs, 31-27 at Welford Road in March 2016.Leicester: Veainu; Malouf, Smith, Toomua May; G Ford, B Youngs; Genge, T Youngs (capt), Cole; Wells, Barrow; M Williams, Hamilton, Kalamafoni.Replacements: McGuigan, Bateman, Mulipola, Mapapalangi, O’Connor, Harrison, J Ford, Tait.Exeter: Turner; Nowell, Slade, Whitten, Woodburn; Steenson, Townsend; Moon, Yeandle (capt), Francis, Lees, Hill, Dennis, Salvi, Armand. Replacements: Taione, Hepburn, H Williams, Skinner, Kvesic, Chudley, Bodilly, Dollman.
Source: Devon BBC