Leicester call up big guns

England back row Martin Corry returns as Leicester launch their final push to reach a third successive EDF Energy Cup semi-final. [more]

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England back row Martin Corry returns as Leicester launch their final push to reach a third successive EDF Energy Cup semi-final.

The Tigers meet Guinness Premiership rivals Sale with Pool B set to go down to the wire with all four clubs – Bath also meet Cardiff – capable of progressing.

But it is defending Anglo-Welsh champions Leicester who are in the driving seat with victory at Welford Road settling the four-way struggle.

"We are expecting a hard game," said Tigers head coach Marcelo Loffreda, who is still hoping to sign Argentina star Juan Martin Hernandez.

"I know many of the Sale players and I know they will come here to win.

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"We have to work hard, maintain our momentum and we have to improve with each game. This game is a very good challenge for the team."

Leicester have called up their big guns for the match with Corry joined by fellow World Cup finalists Dan Hipkiss, Ben Kay and Lewis Moody.

Sale have Andrew Sheridan in their side after the England prop opted against playing in Saturday’s Barbarians clash with South Africa at Twickenham.

Cardiff have an outside chance of reaching the semi-finals but have still decided against recalling Tom Shanklin and Martyn Williams from the Barbarians match.

Wales prop John Yapp celebrates his new long-term contract with a start at loosehead.

"John has shown in matches that he can mix it with the big players in the Premiership and we are delighted that he has extended his contract," Blues director of rugby Dai Young said.

Bath need to register a bonus-point victory over the Magners League leaders if they are to have any chance of progressing.

The Dragons will be playing to preserve their unbeaten home record in the Anglo-Welsh Cup against Gloucester at Rodney Parade – and little else.

Neither side can qualify for the semi-finals but the Dragons will be hoping to avoid a sixth successive game without a victory.

Ceri Sweeney will lead the team from fly-half following his return from Wales duty and admitted his shock at being handed the captaincy.

"I was surprised but it’s a huge honour to captain the region and one I am looking forward to," he said.

"Gloucester are top of the Guinness Premiership and have a big squad with experience and quality throughout.

"They play a good style of rugby which is exciting to watch."

Former Australia hooker Jeremy Paul will start his second match for Gloucester after recovering from a hamstring injury.

With nothing riding on the match, head coach Dean Ryan has made full use of his squad.

Props Jack Forster and Alasdair Dickinson, centre Ali James, stand-off Willie Walker and wingers James Bailey and Mark Foster all get a chance to impress.

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