Preview: Saracens v Worcester

Date published: January 27 2012

Joel Tomkins is set to make his Saracens first-team debut on Sunday when Worcester are the LV= Cup visitors to Vicarage Road.

Joel Tomkins will make his Saracens first-team debut on Sunday when Worcester Warriors are the LV= Cup visitors to Vicarage Road.

Tomkins, who joined Saracens from Wigan Warriors rugby league in November, will make his full debut in the 15-man game at outside centre.

In other team news, Jamie George captains a side that also includes a first-team debut for second row Eoin Sherriff and a first appearance of the season for Michael Tagicakibau.

On the bench, Scott Spurling is also in line for a full Saracens debut as is Academy wing Nathan Earle. Prop James Cleverly, on loan from Blackheath, is also on the bench.

Meanwhile, Blair Cowan will make his Worcester Warriors debut after being named at number eight for the fixture.

Cowan is one of a number of changes made by Warriors with Josh Drauniniu and Sam Betty the only survivors from the starting line-up that faced Stade Francais in Paris last weekend.

A new-look back line will see Joe Carlisle operate at inside centre where he will combine with Fiji international Ravai Fatiaki.

Chris Pennell captains the team from full-back while Danny Gray will start at fly half and links with Jonny Arr who returns to the team.

The pack sees Richard Muagututia move to openside flanker while hooker Chris Fortey is named in the front row.

“Blair has trained really well and has fitted into the club well. He is a robust character, a good ball carrier and strong addition to the group so we are keen to see him in action,” said Forwards Coach Phil Davies.

“We have made changes because you have to keep the whole squad going, you can't be successful with just 23 players. This cup game gives an opportunity for players to come in and put their hand up for more selections.

“Saracens will have players away on international duty, but they have such a strong squad and Academy process that we know it will be a strong team that they put out. We will go down to London and have a real go, we are looking forward to the game.”

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Duncan Taylor, 14 Kameli Ratuvou, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Nils Mordt, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Justin Melck, 5 Eoin Sherriff, 4 George Kruis, 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Jamie George (capt), 1 John Smit.
Replacements: 16 Scott Spurling, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 James Cleverly, 19 Hugh Vyvyan, 20 Tom Jubb, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Nathan Earle, 23 Ben Ransom.

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell (capt), 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Ravai Fatiaki, 12 Joe Carlisle, 11 Josh Drauniniu, 10 Danny Gray, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Blair Cowan, 7 Richard Muagututia, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Ben Gulliver, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 Chris Fortey, 1 Bruce Douglas.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 George Porter, 18 James Currie, 19 Nile Dacres, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Ollie Frost, 22 Miles Benjamin, 23 Errie Claassens.

Date: Sunday, January 29
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Vicarage Road
Referee: Ian Tempest (England)