Planet Rugby

Preview: Saracens v Harlequins

21st March 2014 11:26

Share:

Saracens fly half Owen Farrell training on Wembley Stadium pitch

Fly-half: Owen Farrell

Saracens have named Mako Vunipola and Owen Farrell in their starting XV for Saturday's Premiership clash with Harlequins at Wembley Stadium.

With over 80,000 tickets sold for the showdown, Mark McCall welcomes back the duo from England duty along with full-back Alex Goode.

Goode is joined by David Strettle and Chris Ashton in a strong Saracens back-three.

Argentine international Marcelo Bosch wears the number 13 shirt and is partnered by Brad Barritt.

Fresh from his 22 point haul in Rome last weekend Farrell start the game at fly-half, with Richard Wigglesworth joining him in the halves.

Up front, Vunipola returns to the side at loosehead prop alongside Schalk Brits and James Johnston in the Saracens front row.

Steve Borthwick captains the side at lock, with George Kruis his second-row partner.

In the back-row, Jacques Burger will start at openside flanker, with Jackson Wray and Ernst Joubert at blindside and eight respectively.

Meanwhile, Quins have made six changes to the side that played Worcester Warriors in Round 16 as Joe Marler returns from international duty with England to start at loosehead.

Danny Care, Mike Brown and Chris Robshaw have been rested following the Six Nations and will return against London Irish at The Stoop next Saturday.

Tom Williams, Matt Hopper, Tom Casson and Nick Evans return to the starting line-up as Ollie Lindsay-Hague continues at full-back.

In the forwards, Joe Gray and Kyle Sinckler partner Marler with Nick Kennedy and George Robson in the second-row.

Luke Wallace returns to the openside and is joined by Maurie Fa'asavalu and Nick Easter.

Form: Conor O'Shea's side are four points off the pace in the race for the playoffs, with Bath Rugby and Leicester Tigers currently in possession of the coveted third and fourth spots. Saracens are without a win on their last three visits to Wembley, since beating Welsh side Ospreys there 31-26 in the Heineken Cup in December 2011. However, they have won their last three Aviva Premiership matches, since being upset by London Irish at Allianz Park in round 13.

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 James Johnston, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Duncan Taylor.

Harlequins: 15 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter (c), 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Joe Trayfoot, 20 Tom Guest, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Sam Smith.

Date: Saturday, March 22
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London
Kickoff: 15:15 GMT
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank, Andrew Pearce
TMO: Sean Davey

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820