Champions Cup: Hanro Liebenberg returns for Leicester Tigers against Rhys Webb-less Ospreys while Bulls name Johan Goosen at 10

Champions Cup Leicester Tigers Hanro Liebenberg. There's two games taking place on Friday in the Champions Cup as the last round of the pool stages begins with Leicester v Ospreys and Lyon v Bulls. Credit: Alamy
Champions Cup Leicester Tigers Hanro Liebenberg. There's two games taking place on Friday in the Champions Cup as the last round of the pool stages begins with Leicester v Ospreys and Lyon v Bulls. Credit: Alamy

There’s two games taking place on Friday in the Champions Cup as the last round of the pool stages begins with Leicester v Ospreys and Lyon v Bulls.

Leicester Tigers v Ospreys

Leicester Tigers club captain Hanro Liebenberg returns to lead the side against Ospreys, with Dan Cole and Jack van Poortvliet named vice-captains.

Cole also returns to the matchday squad after missing the Round Three away win over Clermont, and Van Poortvliet starts after featuring off the bench in last Friday’s victory in France.

Up front, Cole is named alongside fellow prop James Whitcombe and Charlie Clare in the starting front-row.

Ollie Chessum, who started the last round in the back-row, shifts to lock to partner Cameron Henderson in the second-row.

Liebenberg and Tommy Reffell are the flankers, and Olly Cracknell, who came off the bench in Clermont, is promoted to number eight in the starting pack.

In his first appearance at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, Handré Pollard is named with Van Poortvliet as the half-back pairing.

Dan Kelly and Matt Scott make up the midfield, while Harry Simmons and Harry Potter are the wings, and Freddie Steward returns to full-back.

The match will be the 50th starting appearance for Potter.

On the Leicester Tigers bench, Julián Montoya is included for the first time in more than a month, and Dan Richardson is in line for his European debut.

Will Hurd, Harry Wells and Sean Jansen are the remaining forwards, while Ben Youngs, Jimmy Gopperth and Charlie Atkinson are the replacements backs.

Youngs, if used, will become the club’s most-capped player in Champions Cup rugby after equalling Geordan Murphy’s record of 74 appearances in Europe’s top-tier competition in the last round.

Meanwhile, Ospreys head coach Toby Booth has made minimal changes from the side that beat Montpellier Herault last week for the trip to Leicester.

The only alteration in the backs is Reuben Morgan-Williams for recent Wales call-up Rhys Webb at scrum-half, who misses out through injury.

In the forward pack, loosehead prop Nicky Smith and hooker Dewi Lake both come into the fold, with the rest of the forwards unchanged.

The teams:

Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Harry Simmons, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Jack van Poortvliet, 8 Olly Cracknell, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 5 Cameron Henderson, 4 Ollie Chessum, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 James Whitcombe
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Dan Richardson, 18 Will Hurd, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Sean Jansen, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Charlie Atkinson

Ospreys: 15 Cai Evans, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Joe Hawkins, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Jac Morgan, 7 Justin Tipuric (c), 6 Rhys Davies, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Dewi Lake, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Rhys Henry, 19 Huw Sutton, 20 Morgan Morris, 21 Matthew Aubrey, 22 Keiran Williams, 23 George North

Venue: Mattioli Woods Welford Road
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: Tual Trainini (France)
Assistant Referees: Adrien Descottes (France), Christophe Bultet (France)
TMO: Thomas Charabas (France)

Lyon v Bulls

Lyon have named a much-changed team to the one that lost out to Saracens last time out as they face a Bulls squad pushing to qualify for the round of 16.

Toby Arnold comes in at full-back, Thibaut Regard is inside centre, Ethan Dumortier is brought in on the left wing, with Jean-Marc Doussain and Leo Berdeu forming a new-look half-back combination this week as they freshen up their backline for the game.

Jordan Taufua returns to the squad and captains the side from number eight alongside last week’s starting flanks, Patrick Sobela and Dylan Cretin.

The lock combination is formidable as Felix Lambey and Romain Taofifenua come in for Temo Mayanavanua and Joel Kpoku for the home match.

Elsewhere, Demba Bamba and Sébastien Taofifenua are the other changes to the side that started at StoneX Stadium, as Lyon look for a first victory.

Meanwhile, the Bulls have opted for Johan Goosen at fly-half as they look for a win that would secure their place in the knockout stages this season.

He joins Embrose Papier in the half-backs while Cornal Hendricks comes in at inside centre in the other alteration to the backline from last week. Hendricks makes his 50th appearance for the franchise.

Cyle Brink replaces Elrigh Louw in a reshuffled back-row while Nizaam Carr captains the side from the back of the scrum.

Janko Swanepoel gets the nod at lock over Ruan Nortje, and there is a fresh starting front-row as Simphiwe Matanzima, and Francois Klopper are the props alongside hooker Bismarck du Plessis.

The teams:

Lyon: 15 Toby Arnold, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Josiah Maraku, 12 Thibaut Regard, 11 Ethan Dumortier, 10 Leo Berdeu, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Jordan Taufua (c), 7 Patrick Sobela, 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Felix Lambey, 3 Demba Bamba, 2 Guillaume Marchand, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Hamza Kaabèche, 18 Paulo Tafili, 19 Temo Mayanavanua, 20 Theo William, 21 Mickael Guillard, 22 Liam Rimet, 23 Kyle Godwin

Bulls: 15 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 David Jacobus Kriel, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Nizaam Carr (c), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Francois Klopper, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima
Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Ruan Nortjé, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Lionel Mapoe

Venue: Matmut Stadium de Gerland
Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson (England), Wayne Falla (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

READ MORE: Champions Cup: Five key games that will play a significant role in qualification and seedings

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