Leicester Tigers won't risk big guns in crucial LV= Cup encounter against Llanelli Scarlets
Richard Cockerill has ruled out bringing in his big names to start Leicester Tigers' crunch LV= Cup pool game against Llanelli Scarlets.
Despite missing more than a dozen players to international duty, director of rugby Cockerill could name the likes of Marcos Ayerza, Anthony Allen, Louis Deacon, Julian Salvi and Matt Smith in his squad for Sunday's fixture at the Parc Y Scarlets.
Champions Tigers will face the Scarlets knowing that a win, coupled with a defeat for Sale at Wasps tomorrow, would book them a place in the semi-finals.
But the Aviva Premiership fixture against London Welsh next weekend has always been Cockerill's priority, and he says those players are vital towards the club's chances of remaining in the upper echelons of the league table.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"There are other guys available like Louis Deacon, Julian Salvi, Ant Allen and Matt Smith," he said.
"We could play them all but, if they get knocks, that puts us in the mire with selection the following week and we have to put our best side out against the Welsh because those games are massive for us.
"Those guys are really important for us going forward. I would be cursing myself if I played those guys and they were not fit for London Welsh after a six-day turnaround.
"Last season, we won the competition because of the depth of our squad and, if we do that again this year, it will be great."
Tigers will name their team for the trip to South Wales today, with many of the squad that beat Wasps at Welford Road last weekend, such as Dan Bowden and Michael Noone, likely to feature.
The Scarlets, meanwhile, have struggled throughout their LV= Cup and Rabo Direct Pro12 campaign.
They having nothing to play for but pride on Sunday and Cockerill thinks that situation will provide his team with a good test.
"The Scarlets have had a tough season and have had lots of injuries," he said.
"With their Welsh internationals and under-20s, they will be shorn of most of their best players but they will still play an expansive style.
"It will be a good test for us with the long journey and, with it being a Test weekend, there will be a bit of a muted atmosphere because there are more important things going on.
"It will be interesting to see how we react to that."
Former Tigers back-rower Craig Newby has become a coach at Cambridge in National League One.
The 33-year-old was forced to retire at the start of the season with persistent knee problems.
Newby said the position was "just the kind of thing he was looking for" and, despite Cambridge's lowly position in the table, the former All Black said all was not lost.
"It is not impossible to stay up," he said.