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Croft named in Tigers XV to face Saracens

04 March 2011

  • Tom Croft starts for Leicester against Saracens
  • England flanker closing in on full match fitness
Leicester and England flanker Tom Croft in action for the Tigers

Photo: Getty Images

Leicester and England flanker Tom Croft has been named in the Tigers’ starting back row for their top-of-the-table clash with Saracens.

Having returned from a fractured shoulder blade off the bench against Wasps two weeks ago, Croft played 55 minutes of Leicester’s 18-16 victory over Sale last week and will step up his return to full match fitness at Welford Road on Saturday.

And the 25-year-old is confident Leicester can extend their unbeaten run and strengthen their grip on top spot in the Aviva Premiership, despite their depleted squad.

“I don’t think the fact that we’re missing internationals or that we’ve got injured players has affected us. We’ve won nine from nine in the Premiership, so I think it’s going to be a very close run affair,” Croft said.

“I think Sarries have got a good scrum. They’re a physical side and they’re flying – so they’re the areas that we have to work on. But the performance against Sale – even though it wasn’t great – was only the second time we’ve won there in eight games. I think that says a lot about the way that Leicester dig in.

Charity auction in support of New Zealand

“If it’s close, we’ll always grind out that win because of the way we are. But preferably we’ll be 20 or 30 points up come half time, so fingers crossed it does go that way.

The day will also feature a charity auction to help victims of the recent earthquakes in New Zealand, something Croft has thrown his support behind.

“We’ve got a lot of kiwis at the club. We’re very close to them and when something that terrible happens back in their home country, obviously all the boys share that compassion,” he added.

“We’ll be auctioning off shirts and boots. Just trying to raise awareness, if not as much money as possible, is very important.

“Leicester’s a family club; if someone in that club has been affected by a disaster then obviously the club pulls together and tries to do as much as possible.”