Leicester coach Pat Howard has sung the praises of former England star Austin Healey after appointing him captain for tonight's Premiership clash at Worcester.
Scrum-half Healey will take the reins as Tigers target a victory which would return them to the Premiership summit above Sale Sharks, who visit Leeds tomorrow.
"Austin has been in pretty good form this season, he is playing well and he is leading well," said Howard who, with regular captain Martin Corry on England duty, has named Andy Goode and Ollie Smith on the bench following their omission from England's 22 to face Australia.
"His attitude has been great this season, both on and off the field.
"It's a great challenge for him, and also a great compliment. Number nine is an important position and he can lead very well from there."
The Leicester line-up is shorn of England quartet Corry, Lewis Moody, Louis Deacon and Harry Ellis while props Graham Rowntree and Julian White remain injured and suspended respectively.
Worcester, unbeaten at home in the Premiership this season, are without skipper Pat Sanderson because of England duties so veteran prop Tony Windo takes over as captain and tighthead Tevita Taumoepeau retains his place following Chris Horsman's call-up for Wales.
Wasps skipper Lawrence Dallaglio makes his 200th league appearance when the reigning Premiership champions host Bristol tonight.
Dallaglio is one of only nine players to have reached the landmark, emulating Rowntree, Martin Johnson, Tony Diprose, Neil Back, Simon Shaw, Mark Regan, Darren Garforth and Chris Sheasby.
Wasps have failed to win in their last three games, losing at Sale, then coming unstuck against opening Heineken Cup opponents Edinburgh before being held by Toulouse five days ago.
Wasps rugby director Ian McGeechan sees tonight's match as "very important to us" and adds: "Richard Hill's Bristol team have shown some good form in the earlyseason fixtures, and the international season is also a time that challenges the strength of a squad and the ability of the players to maintain their standards."
Bristol boss Hill has kept changes to a minimum, with only two enforced switches after their European Challenge Cup triumph against Northampton last weekend.
Samoan wing Brian Lima is ruled out by a hamstring injury so Marko Stanojevic deputises while No 8 Dan Ward-Smith has a knee problem and is replaced by Geraint Lewis.