Steffon Armitage returns to boost London Irish for visit of Leicester Tigers

Having completed his England EPS rest requirement Steffon Armitage returns to London Irish’s 23-man squad for tomorrow’s visit of Leicester Tigers to Madejski Stadium. The match with the current Guinness Premiership champions kicks-off at 3.15pm.

Armitage is one of five changes to the starting line-up of the team that played Scarlets last weekend. The 24-year-old back row forward returns at openside flanker as George Stowers switches to the blindside in place of Declan Danaher who suffered a knee ligament injury in last Saturday’s match. The remaining three changes are in the front row where Clarke Dermody, Danie Coetzee and Paulica Ion complete an all-internationals pack.

“We enjoy measuring ourselves against the big clubs at Madejski Stadium and are excited about the chance of playing the current Guinness Premiership champions at home at this stage of the season,” said Toby Booth, London Irish Head Coach. “This will be our first match with them since we met in the Grand Final of the Premiership at Twickenham in May. There was only one point in the difference that day, so we’re looking forward to another competitive encounter tomorrow.

“From what our commercial colleagues tell us the match has caught the imagination of our fantastic supporters and we’re anticipating an attendance of over 15,000 tomorrow. With all four stands open, there should be a ‘craicing’ atmosphere in the stadium.” Booth added.

Team:
15. Peter Hewat; 14. Tom Homer; 13. Seilala Mapusua*; 12. Elvis Seveali’i*; 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau*; 10. Ryan Lamb; 9. Paul Hodgson* 1. Clarke Dermody*; 2. Danie Coetzee*, 3. Paulica Ion*; 4. Nick Kennedy*; 5. Bob Casey* (captain); 6. George Stowers*; 7. Steffon Armitage*; 8. Chris Hala’Ufia*.

Replacements:
16. David Paice*; 17. Dan Murphy; 18. Faan Rautenbach*; 19. Andy Perry; 20. Kieran Roche; 21. Chris Malone; 22. Peter Richards*; 22. Alfredo Lalanne*.

* Denotes international

Head Coach: Toby Booth; Attack Coach: Mike Catt; Defence Coach: Dave Ellis.

There will be live match commentary from Madejski Stadium by Graham McKechnie of BBC Radio Berkshire on the London Irish website at www.london-irish.com. The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports TV.

Tickets for tomorrow’s match are available by calling the ticket sales centre on 0800 999 1871 or via the club’s website at www.london–irish.com .

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