Saracens v Northampton Saints Premiership Preview

Saracens host Northampton Saints at Allianz Park

Saracens have included England duo Alex Goode and Jamie George in their starting XV to play in Saturday’s round 14 Aviva Premiership clash against Northampton Saints for at Allianz Park.

The pair return to Premiership action after being released for Eddie Jones’ training camp earlier this week.

Full-back Alex Goode comes into the Saracens back three to join Chris Wyles (left wing) and Mike Ellery (right wing), and will be joined by Duncan Taylor and Brad Barritt in the Sarries backline. Taylor lines up at outside centre after playing for Scotland in Rome last weekend, and Barritt returns to captain the side in the number twelve jersey.

Nils Mordt comes into the team to start at fly-half to replace Charlie Hodgson who is ruled out of the game with a neck injury sustained in Saracens 36-36 draw away to Sale Sharks. Mordt is joined by Ben Spencer in the halves, reuniting the club’s 2015/16 LV=Cup winning halfback pairing for the first time this season.

Up front, Richard Barrington starts at loosehead prop in the place of Titi Lamositele who is away on international duty with the USA Eagles. Barrington is joined by Petrus Du Plessis (tighthead) and Jamie George, with the England hooker returning to Sarries action as the Six Nations takes a break over the weekend.

Elsewhere in the Sarries pack, Hayden Smith and Jim Hamilton continue to partner each other at second row, whilst Michael Rhodes (blindside flanker), Kelly Brown (openside flanker) and Jackson Wray (No8) are named as Saracens’ loose forward trio.

Saracens continue to top the Aviva Premriship Rugby table despite picking up just seven league points out of their last fifteen.

Saracens only home defeat in any tournament this season came when Wasps visited Allianz Park on 14th February.

Northampton Saints only defeat in their last four matches was by a single point at Newcastle in round 13 of Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Saints have won just twice on the road in the competition in the past twelve months – at Bath in December and at Harlequins in February. In their last four away games they have finished each marooned on three tries.

Saracens were victorious 12-6 at Franklin’s Gardens in round 4 and have not achieved a season’s double over the East Midlanders since 2012/13.

Northampton are the only visiting side to have won twice at Allianz Park, doing so in the Premiership Rugby semi-final in 2013 and in round 8 last season.

Meanwhile Northampton Saints have made two changes to the team which began last weekend’s win over Worcester, with George Pisi and Courtney Lawes coming into the starting 15.

Match : Saracens v Northampton Saints
Date : Saturday 5 March
Venue : Allianz Park,
Kick Off : 3.15pm
Live on: BT Sport
Match Officials
Referee : Tom Foley (16th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank & Andy Watson.
TMO: Rowan Kitt.

Teams

Saracens

15 Alex Goode , 14 Mike Ellery , 13 Duncan Taylor , 12 Brad Barritt (c) , 11 Chris Wyles , 10 Nils Mordt , 9 Ben Spencer , 8 Jackson Wray , 7 Kelly Brown , 6 Michael Rhodes , 5 Jim Hamilton , 4 Hayden Smith , 3 Petrus Du Plessis , 2 Jamie George ,1 Richard Barrington

Replacements : 16 Jared Saunders , 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer , 18 Juan Figallo , 19 Alistair Hargreaves , 20 Jacques Burger , 21 Neil De Kock , 22 Marcelo Bosch , 23 Nathan Earle.

Northampton:

15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson (c), 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller

Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 James Craig, 20 Sam Dickinson, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 JJ Harrahan, 23 Harry Mallinder

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