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Strong Saracens squad to face Sharks

08th January 2014 10:48

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Schalk Brits Saracens 2013

Involved: Schalk Brits

Saracens have named a powerful 23-man squad for the historic North-South clash against the Sharks at Allianz Park on January 25.

The Aviva Premiership leaders will be without their England contingent for the match one week out from the beginning of the Six Nations, meaning that Brad Barritt, Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Owen Farrell along with Mako and Billy Vunipola will all be absent.

Saracens play Newcastle Falcons in the LV= Cup the next day on January 26 and will now be expected to field a much weakened side for that fixture, despite being top of Pool 1.

"The Sharks are one of the strongest teams in Super Rugby, and we're really looking forward to the challenge," said Saracens boss Mark McCall.

"Our match against the Springboks four years ago was one of the greatest occasions in the club's history, and this will be a similar kind of one-off event... the Premiership leaders against South Africa's Currie Cup champions. We will field our strongest possible side."

Saracens squad to face the Sharks:

Backs: Chris Wyles, David Strettle, Michael Tagicakibau, Marcelo Bosch, Brad Barritt, Duncan Taylor, Sam Stanley, Charlie Hodgson, Neil de Kock, Richard Wigglesworth.

Forwards: Richard Barrington, Nick Auterac, Schalk Brits, Jamie George, Matt Stevens, Petrus Du Plessis, Steve Borthwick (capt.), Alistair Hargreaves, Mouritz Botha, Jacques Burger, Nick Fenton-Wells, Justin Melck, Ernst Joubert.

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