Everything you need to know - Leicester Tigers v Harlequins

Friday, 3rd December 2021 @ 12:00

Form guide, stats, head to heads and match officials - it's your pocket sized guide to Sunday

Leicester Tigers v Harlequins
15:00, Sunday 5 December
Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium
Watch live on BT Sport 2HD & BT Sport ultimate

It's first against third in the Gallagher Premiership as Harlequins travel to Leicester in an attempt to tame the unbeaten Tigers.

Steve Borthwick's side have gone eight from eight to start the 2021/22 season, picking up five bonus points in the process.

Quins will look to rebound from a disappointing 22-19 home to loss to London Irish.

Meanwhile, Leicester enjoyed a bye last week and will look to hit the ground running in their first League fixture in almost a month.

How are we lining up?

Quins v Leicester Tigers
How are Tigers lining up?

15 Freddie Steward, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Ellis Genge (c), 2 Julián Montoya, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Eli Snyman, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Marco van Staden, 8 Jasper Wiese.

Who is in charge?

Referee: Ian Tempest (97th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Jamie Leahy & Wayne Falla
TMO: Claire Hodnett
Citing Officer: Buster White

Form guide

Leicester Tigers: WWWWW
Harlequins: LWLWL

Last five Premiership matches

Last time out, Harlequins fell to a 22-19 home loss at the hands of a London Irish side that Tabai Matson described as staunch and stubborn. For Quins, Oscar Beard scored twice in his first home league appearance.

Quins are five from eight in the League and sit third on the overall log, claiming three losing bonus points and five try bonus points.

Tigers, meanwhile, haven't featured in the League since the first weekend of November when they claimed a 40-23 victory over Bath at home.

That win sealed their eighth win from eight games with three try bonus points cementing their place on top of the table with a six-point buffer.

The Tigers also claimed back-to-back wins in the Premiership Rugby Cup despite playing props in the back row in both their fixtures.

Oscar Beard
What we said

"They are running hot and are the best team in the competition at the moment. To go away there and put in really good performances is important for us."

Tabai Matson, Harlequins Senior Coach

"We have talked about getting our mentality right, and they are top of the league for a reason, and we see this as an opportunity to bounce back from last week, and every game in this competition is competitive and none more so than when you go to Leicester."

Nick Evans, Harlequins Coach

Nick Evans
Last time we met

It's been six months since we last faced the East Midlands side, and it was a cracking clash the last time we met.

Harlequins fell short of an incredible come-from-behind victory at Welford Road. Down by 32-12 after 44 minutes, the Famous Quarters scored three tries through Joe Marchant, Nathan Earle and Luke Northmore as Leicester managed to hold out for a 35-29 win.

In numbers

4 - Leicester Tigers and Harlequins are two of just three teams to have scored 4+ tries in five or more games in the Premiership this season (also, London Irish).

8 - Danny Care bagged another try assist against London Irish, taking his tally for the season to eight.

8.4 - Harlequins have averaged 8.4 line breaks per match in the Premiership this season, over two per game more than any other side in 2021/22 (Bristol Bears next on 6.3).

9 - Andre Esterhuizen has made nine line breaks this season; only Leicester Tigers' winger Nemani Nadolo (11) has made more.

15 - Andre Esterhuizen (9 breaks, 6 break assists) and Tyrone Green (6 breaks, 9 break assists) have each been responsible for 15 line breaks in the Premiership this season, more than any other players. 

35 - Harlequins sit top of the try-scoring charts heading into Round 10 of the 2021/2022 Premiership season, with 35 tries, at an average of 4.4 tries per game, also the highest average in the competition.

82 - Jack Walker has found his lineout jumper on 82 occasions this season, missing just eight. No hooker has found his jumper on more occasions.

100 - Tyrone Green has made 100 carries this season; no player has made more while the fullback has also beaten the most defenders (35) and gained the most metres (958) in the League.

123 - Tyrone Green (123) has averaged the most carry metres per game in the Premiership this season.


Jasper Wiese v Alex Dombrandt

A fortnight after they clashed at Twickenham, Jasper Wiese and Alex Dombrandt collide once again, this time at Welford Road.

The two in-form loose forwards go toe to toe at the back of their respective packs.

Both players are gifted runners of the ball with excellent all-round skills. The pair both finished inside the top 20 for defenders beaten and carries last season, providing their sides with a great attacking platform.

This year, Wiese and Dombrandt made their test debuts off the back of their impressive 2020/21 seasons and will want to continue in that vein with Dombrandt featuring six times this campaign and Wiese set to make his fourth appearance of the season.

Alex Dombrandt
George Ford v Marcus Smith

"It will be a fascinating battle and one that Marcus is looking forward to." – Harlequins' coach Nick Evans.

George Ford and Marcus Smith face off for the first time since Smith displaced Ford in the England squad.

Ford was a regular starter and squad member in Eddie Jones' England squad until July this year when Marcus grabbed his opportunity with both hands and cemented a place in the side.

This weekend, the experienced Ford will want to make a statement with Marcus coming into his backyard and will likely pull all the tricks out of the bag to get one up on the rising star.

In the same breath, Smith will be out to impose himself and show his class by producing a performance that will hopefully end in victory.

The ability of the pack to set the platform for the two playmakers will be a crucial factor in the clash at Welford Road, as too will their ability to make the most of the opportunities.

Marcus Smith
In the news this week

A standout performance from Harlequins Academy winger Oscar Beard earned the Player of the Week award and a place in the Land Rover Fans' XV Team of the Week for Round 9.

The speedster gained more metres than any other back at the weekend while he also grabbed two tries and beat five defenders.

Fellow Quins Joe Marler and Andre Esterhuizen join the Academy star in the Team of the Week with Joe featuring for the second time this season and Andre for the fifth time!

Esterhuizen is up for Player of the Month for November! Vote for Andre on the Premiership Rugby App.

Another sell out! Our clash against Exeter Chiefs will be another full house, with the Stoop selling out for the sixth time this season. You can still grab a ticket for Big Game 13.

Speaking of Big Game 13, we took Louis Lynagh back to Twickenham stadium to re-live some of his best memories from the Premiership final and look ahead to what Big Game 13 might be like.

Cadan Murley says people forget how young the squad is at Quins and that there is so much more to come from this group of players.

Baxter learning from the best

18th January 2022

Fin Baxter says there's no other better learning environment for a young prop with Adam Jones and Joe Marler to look up to.

Will Evans says it's the best environment he's been a part of in rugby which made it an easy decision to sign a new deal.