England players return to give Leicester Tigers fresh options
Leicester Tigers will be able to look at fresh options this week as they prepare to visit Aviva Premiership title rivals Harlequins on Saturday.
Director of rugby Richard Cockerill has been boosted by the availability of fly-half Toby Flood, centre Manu Tuilagi and back-row forward Thomas Waldrom. They have all been released by England this week as the Six Nations takes a break.
"It is one thing having seven players in the England squad," said Cockerill, "but having them in key positions, that hurts.
"When there is an England Test match Harlequins lose their 'nine' Danny Care but the rest of the backline is intact.
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"So to have our '10' (Flood) and '13' (Tuilagi) is massive for us."
However, Tom Croft will not feature as Tigers manage his return to full fitness.
Tigers already have plenty of options in the back-row even without Croft, who suffered a serious neck injury against Quins last April.
Jordan Crane, Julian Salvi and Brett Deacon have all figured prominently this term and Cockerill added: "With Thomas Waldrom back we will have more options in the back row."
Cockerill reported no more serious injuries ahead of a match which pits the current Premiership leaders against second-placed Quins.