Saracens v Harlequins Premiership Preview

Saracens host Harlequins at Wembley Stadium

Saracens have named England’s Mako Vunipola to captain their team to play Harlequins at Wembley stadium on Sunday.

Vunipola will captain the side from loosehead prop and will join Schalk Brits (hooker) and Petrus Du Plessis (tighthead prop) in the Saracens front row.

Jim Hamilton returns for Saracens at lock, rotating with Maro Itoje and the former Scotland international will pack down alongside England Grand Slam winning second rower, George Kruis. Alistair Hargreaves misses out with a slight knock whilst Hayden Smith takes his place amongst the replacements.

In the back row, Billy Vunipola is named at No8 with Jackson Wary (openside flanker) and Michael Rhodes (blindside flanker) taking their place in the Sarries loose-forward trio.

In the halves, after a spell on the sidelines Saracens welcome back Charlie Hodgson at fly-half, with Owen Farrell named on the bench. At scrum-half, Neil De Kock comes in for Richard Wigglesworth.

In the backs, Duncan Taylor moves to inside centre with Marcelo Bosch starting in the number 13 jersey. Alex Goode (full-back), Chris Wyles (left wing) and Chris Ashton (right wing) make up the Sarries back three.

Saracens have won their last three matches in all tournaments since going down at Leicester in round 17 of Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Saracens have visited Wembley on twelve previous occasions in all competitions, suffering just three defeats – to Leinster in 2010 and Toulouse in 2013 in the Champions Cup and to Harlequins in Premiership Rugby in March 2012.

arlequins have won just three times in the last ten rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby, all at the Twickenham Stoop, against Leicester, Bath and Newcastle.

‘Quins have not won away from home since beating Worcester at Sixways on 3rd January.

Harlequins have played four previous matches at Wembley, all against Saracens in Premiership Rugby, but have won just once.

‘Quins beat Saracens 29-23 at Twickenham Stoop in round 9 and have not achieved a season’s Premiership Rugby double over their London neighbours since 2008/09.

Harlequins have announced four changes to the starting team that beat London Irish in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final last week.

Joe Marchant returns to the starting line-up amongst an otherwise unchanged back line.

Among the forwards Will Collier starts in the front row, with Charlie Matthews named in the second row alongside Sam Twomey. Nick Easter returns to the back row and partners Chris Robshaw and Jack Clifford.

Among the replacements, Mat Luamanu provides cover for the back row, with Matt Hopper returning to the bench.

Luke Wallace (concussion), George Lowe (hip), James Horwill (leg), Nick Evans (leg), Joe Marler (suspension) and Winston Stanley (leg) amongst others, will all be available for selection for next weekend’s European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final against Grenoble.

The Bookies have given Harlequins a 10 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to £200 in Bonus bets.

Match : Saracens v Harlequins
Date : Saturday 16 April
Venue : Wembley Stadium,
Kick Off : 3.15pm
Live on: BT Sport
Match Officials
Referee :Greg Garner (98th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson & Andy Watson.
TMO: Geoff Warren.

Teams

Saracens

15 Alex Goode , 14 Chris Ashton , 13 Marcelo Bosch , 12 Duncan Taylor , 11 Chris Wyles , 10 Charlie Hodgson , 9 Neil De Kock,8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray , 6 Michael Rhodes , 5 George Kruis , 4 Jim Hamilton ,3 Petrus Du Plessis ,2 Schalk Brits , 1 Mako Vunipola (c)

Replacements : 16 Jared Saunders , 17 Richard Barrington , 18 Titi Lamositele , 19 Hayden Smith , 20 Samu Vunisa , 21 Richard Wigglesworth , 22 Owen Farrell , 23 Nick Tompkins

Harlequins

15 Mike Brown , 14 Marland Yarde , 13 Joe Marchant , 12 Jamie Roberts , 11 Tim Visser , 10 Ben Botica , 9 Danny Care ©, 8 Nick Easter , 7 Jack Clifford , 6 Chris Robshaw , 5 Sam Twomey , 4 Charlie Matthews , 3 Will Collier , 2 Joe Gray,1 Mark Lambert

Replacements : 16 Dave Ward , 17 Owen Evans , 18 Kyle Sinckler , 19 George Merrick , 20 Mat Luamanu , 21 Karl Dickson , 22 Matt Hopper , 23 Ross Chisholm

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