Saracens v Northampton Saints Premiership Preview

Saracens have made three changes to the team that beat Ulster last weekend for this weekend’s Aviva Premiership match against Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on Sunday.

Mark McCall makes three changes to the starting backline that beat Ulster last weekend. In come Chris Wyles for Alex Goode at full-back, Argentine centre Marcelo Bosch for Duncan Taylor and Saracens double-centurion Neil de Kock for Richard Wigglesworth at halfback.

David Strettle and Chris Ashton start on the wings, with Brad Barritt partnering Marcelo Bosch in the centres and Owen Farrell starting at fly-half.

In the pack, Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits and James Johnston make up the Saracens front row, whilst Steve Borthwick captains the side from lock. The Saracens skipper will break the record for all time Premiership appearances at the weekend, making his 263rd appearance in the English top flight. He is joined by Mouritz Botha in the second row.

In the back row, Kelly Brown returns to the starting line-up at openside flanker, as does Jackson Wray who will wear the No.6 shirt. Billy Vunipola starts at No.8 to complete the Saracens starting XV.

Saracens only loss in their last twelve Aviva Premiership Rugby matches was 13-22 at home to London Irish in round 13.

Saracen are one of only three sides to have lost just once at home this season, the others are Northampton and Leicester.

Northampton Saints have slipped to successive Premiership defeats but have not lost there in a row in the tournament since November 2012.

Northampton’s only loss away from home in any tournament since October came at Sale in the Premiership on 22nd March.

Northampton have won their last four matches against Saracen in all tournaments including a 27-13 victory on their only previous visit to Allianz Park in last season’s Premriship semi-final.

Northampton Saints have made twelve changes to the starting line-up from the team which won the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter final at Sale just over a week ago, with significant returnees including fly half Stephen Myler and number eight Samu Manoa, who returns to the team after helping the USA win their back-to-back play-offs with Uruguay to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2015.

Ben Foden, Lee Dickson and Ross McMillan are the three who retain their places after the AJ Bell Stadium success.

Match : Saracens v Northampton Saints
Date : Sunday 13th April
Venue : Allianz Park,
Kick Off : 2pm
Live on: BT Sport
Match Officials
Referee
: Greg Garner (64th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle and Andy Watson
TMO: Rowan Kitt.

Teams

Saracens

15. Chris Wyles; 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 12. Brad Barritt, 11. David Strettle; 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Neil de Kock; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Schalk Brits, 3. James Johnston, 4. Steve Borthwick ©, 5. Mouritz Botha, 6. Jackson Wray, 7. Kelly Brown, 8. Billy Vunipola.

Replacements; 16. Jamie George, 17. Richard Barrington, 18. Matt Stevens, 19. Eoin Sheriff, 20. Jacques Burger, 21. Richard Wigglesworth, 22. Charlie Hodgson, 23. Tim Streather.

Northampton Saints

15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Ross McMillan, 1 Alex Waller

Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22

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