Preview: Saracens v Bath

Date published: February 13 2015

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England squad members Alex Goode and Brad Barritt have been named in Saracens' team to face Bath in Sunday's Premiership clash at Allianz Park.

The Saracens duo were released from Stuart Lancaster’s squad earlier this week. Mark McCall has included Goode at full-back, and he is joined by the in-form Chris Ashton and USA Eagles international Chris Wyles in the Saracens back three.

Brad Barritt lines up at centre after recovering from a leg injury and will partner Duncan Taylor in the Saracens midfield.

Charlie Hodgson starts at fly-half, and is joined by experienced scrum-half Neil de Kock.

Up front, England Saxons bolter Maro Itoje starts his first Premiership game of the season at lock, and partners Saracens skipper Alistair Hargreaves in the second row.

In the front row, the durable Petrus du Plessis starts at tighthead prop alongside Jamie George (hooker) and Richard Barrington (loosehead prop).

Recent Saracens 100 Club inductee Jackson Wray starts at number uight, with Jacques Burger and Kelly Brown also included in the back-row.

Meanwhile, new signing Tom Homer will make his Bath debut with the full-back featuring in a team full of returning stars.  

Semesa Rokoduguni is back at wing following his recovery from injury, opposite Olly Woodburn at 11. Another exciting returnee is England international Kyle Eastmond at 12, complemented at outside centre by Sam Burgess. Chris Cook and Ollie Devoto are at scrum-half and fly-half respectively.

Nick Auterac, Ross Batty and Henry Thomas make up Bath's front row, with captain Stuart Hooper and Dominic Day in the second row. Bath's formidable back row is comprised of Matt Garvey, Francois Louw and Leroy Houston.

Form: Saracens 23-24 defeat at Gloucester in the last round of Aviva Premiership Rugby ended a four game winning streak. Saracens only defeat at Allianz Park in a competitive match in the last 12 months came when Northampton were the visitors in round 8 of Premiership Rugby. Bath have lost just once in the competition since round 6: 8-17 at Leicester Tigers on 4th January, coincidentally this is Bath’s only reversal away from home in any competition since early November. Bath defeated Saracens 21-11 at The Rec in round 5, and have not achieved a Premiership Rugby season’s double over the Londoners since 2003/04. Bath have not triumphed on Saracens soil since a trip to Vicarage Road in Premiership Rugby in February 2010.

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Hargreaves (c), 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 James Johnston, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Ernst Joubert, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Tim Streather, 23 David Strettle.

Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Sam Burgess, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Ollie Devoto, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Alafoti Faosiliva, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 Micky Young, 22 Richard Lane, 23 Luke Arscott.

Date: Sunday, 15 February
Venue: Allianz Park
Kick-off: 13.00 GMT
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Paul Dix & Roy Maybank

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