Preview: Toulon v Saracens

Date published: October 14 2016

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Toulon have welcomed back their big guns for their European Champions Cup clash with defending champions Saracens on Saturday.

Diego Dominguez has made 13 changes to his team from the side who drew 17-17 with La Rochelle in the Top 14 last weekend.

Leigh Halfpenny, Matt Carraro, Ma'a Nonu, Bryan Habana, Francois Trinh Duc, Juan Fernandez Lobbe are just some of the stars that are back in Toulon colours after missing the last few games through injury and international duty respectively.

For Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell makes his long-awaited comeback from injury to spearhead the side. It means Alex Lozowski moves to the bench, as does Michael Rhodes who makes way for Jackson Wray.

“I think this team has always prided itself on going to places that we’ve never won before I think it’s a huge challenge for this team but it’s one that we’re really relishing and looking forward to," Brad Barritt said.

"They’re a formidable team, three time European champions speaks volumes about the quality that they possess so its going to be an immense challenge but I think we’re ready for it and looking forward to it."

Form: This will be the third meeting between Saracens and Toulon in the tournament, both of which came in the knockout stage as Toulon emerged victorious in the 2012/13 semi-final and the 2013/14 final. Saracens have won their last five Champions Cup games against French opposition, each of those victories coming by more than 10 points, including last season's final win over Racing 92. Saracens have won their last nine home games in the Champions Cup, their best run in the competition. Toulon have won four of their six games away against Premiership opposition in the Champions Cup, however they've lost two of their last three in England.

The teams:

Toulon: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Francois Trinh Duc, 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 6 Charles Ollivon, 5 Mamuka Gorgodze, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Levan Chilachava, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Liam Gill, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Pierre Bernard, 22 Eric Escande, 23 Romain Taofifenua

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Michael Rhodes, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Michael Ellery

Date: Saturday, October 15
Venue: Stade Félix Mayol 
Kick-off: 16:15 local (15:15 GMT) 
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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