Flanker’s converted try salvages draw as Tigers survive the absence of nine first-team players
Leicester, the reigning English champions, have some serious rugby ahead of them over the next month: a humdinger derby with high-performing Northampton this weekend, quickly followed by a horribly difficult Heineken Cup trip to Belfast, a must-win home match with Treviso in the same competition and an awkward Premiership contest at Wasps – a game they will have to play without their England personnel, who will be in red-rose camp by then.
Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill has been suspended for nine matches by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel after he was found guilty of using words that were “obscene, inappropriate and unprofessional” during the Aviva Premiership final.
Lock will keep big hits coming but is trying to add variety to toughness
O'Connor has big shoes to fill in Dublin
Heineken Cup clash with Toulon's Bastereaud offers Leicester giant a perfect chance to impress
A look ahead to this weekend’s Six Nations fixture at Twickenham
No 10 may not be risked against Italy even if he recovers but Burns can earn place on the bench
It looks impressive on paper, but the 31-9 scoreline makes Leicester's victory over London Irish in the Aviva Premiership appear better than it was. Comfortable about covers it. The Tigers did register four tries at the Madejski Stadium, but two of those were awards by the referee, Luke Pearce. Nothing, though, should detract from the two fine tries that Niall Morris scored in the testing conditions, securing the bonus point in the last minute.
Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns is in line to make his England debut against New Zealand on Saturday after being called up as an injury replacement for Toby Flood.
England 15 South Africa 16: After failing to take the points on offer against Australia, captain Robshaw opts for the penalty late on against South Africa but then runs out of time and succumbs to 11th match in a row without a victory over the Springboks
Coaches view: Playing the Boks you find yourself up against big blokes who don’t like you
Gloucester 27 Leicester 21
Leicester 30 Exeter 8
Leicester Tigers 30 Exeter Chiefs 8: Wing marks his first start with a hat-trick to inspire injury-hit Leicester to roll over Chiefs
Mike Catt believes England head coach Stuart Lancaster could still tap into the expertise of Wayne Smith - despite the New Zealander turning down the chance to be involved in the national set-up.