Preview: Saracens v Sale Sharks

Date published: November 4 2011

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has made two changes for Sunday's clash with Sale Sharks at Vicarage Road.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has made two changes for Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash against Sale at Vicarage Road.

In the front row, Deon Carstens starts at loose head prop with Rhys Gill reverting to the replacements bench.

The only other change sees Chris Wyles make his first start since returning from World Cup duty to take a place on the wing which sees James Short named on the bench.

Adam Powell also comes into the matchday 23 and is named among the replacements.

Meanwhile, Andy Powell starts at number eight for Sale Sharks while new scrum-half Cillian Willis, who has joined the club from Leinster for the rest of the season, will be on the replacements bench.

The Sharks are without regular nines Dwayne Peel and Scott Mathie, who are both injured.

Samoan international Tasesa Lavea is also among the replacements and will make his debut if called upon.

Sale's executive director of sport Steve Diamond is keen to do well against his former club.

“It's a long time ago since I left Saracens. They have created a super franchise. They are now going away from home and winning at Gloucester ,so we know that we are up against a top side on Sunday,” he said.

“In the end it's all about our performance this weekend. If we get it right in our set piece and defence then we stand a chance of getting something out of the game.

“They are one of the top super clubs in England right now and if you get anything from them away from home, then you are doing well,” added Diamond.

Form: Saracens' only reversal in any competition since the opening weekend was 6-36 at Northampton in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 15 October. Sarries have won their last nine Premiership matches at Vicarage Road since Exeter won there; 23-9 on 30 October 2010. Sale Sharks have slipped to three successive defeats in all competitions, whilst their only away win since the end of January was 29-18 against Wasps at Adams Park in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 17 September. The Sharks' only win in their last six encounters with Saracens in all competitions was 28-22 at Edgeley Park in the Premiership on 2 January 2011, whilst Sale's solo victory at Vicarage Road in 16 previous visits came on 25 September 2005 with a 40-32 scoreline.

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Owen Farrell, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Adam Powell, 23 James Short.

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Will Addison, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou (c), 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Andy Powell, 7 David Seymour, 6 Richie Vernon, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Vadim Cobilas, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Tasesa Lavea, 23 Tom Brady.

Date: Sunday, 6 November
Venue: Vicarage Road, London
Kick-off: 15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Martin Fox