Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v Saracens

06th May 2011 11:28

Share:

David Strettle Saracens Harlequins 2010

Out wide for Sarries: David Strettle

Saracens head to Harlequins with a home semi-final already secured and are looking to extend a winning run of ten matches in all competitions.

In team news ahead of the game, Hayden Smith and Mouritz Botha form the second-row partnership with club captain Steve Borthwick named on the bench for this week's game.

Aviva Premiership Player of the Year nominee Schalk Brits continues at hooker while Land Rover Discovery of the Season contender Owen Farrell starts at fly-half. Saracens player of the Year Jacques Burger starts in the back-row alongside Andy Saull and Ernst Joubert.

Meanwhile, Harlequins are looking to build on their historic victory against Munster in the Amlin Challenge Cup last week.

Quins are fighting for a potential top six spot and a place in the Heineken Cup next season. Saturday's hosts currently sit in seventh place in the standings, just 3 points off local rivals London Irish.

It will be an emotional occasion for some as Ceri Jones, who has been a faithful servant to the side for eight years says his farewell. Other goodbyes go to Gonzalo Camacho, John Andress, Dave Moore, James Percival and Lewis Stevenson.

There are a handful of changes to the side that was named last week against Munster.

Joe Gray and Joe Marler picked up knocks last week from which they haven't recovered so there are two changes in the front row, with Ceri Jones and Matt Cairns starting alongside James Johnston.

Fly-half Nick Evans is sidelined with an ankle injury so Rory Clegg takes up the reigns in the number ten shirt. Danny Care continues at scrum-half, with Ugo Monye and Gonzalo Camacho on the wings. Mike Brown starts at full-back.

New faces on the bench include Rob Buchanan, John Andress, Pete Browne, Luke Wallace and Ben Urdapilleta, with Will Skinner and Tomas Vallejos also missing.

Form: Saracens have won their last three encounters with Harlequins and have also won on three of their last four visits to the Twickenham Stoop. Harlequins have reached the final of the European Challenge Cup following their superb victory in Munster on Saturday, and have now won three of their last four matches in all competitions. Saracens have already secured a home Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final spot, and have won their last ten matches in all competitions, the club's best run in competitive rugby since season 1988/89.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (capt), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Ollie Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Matt Cairns, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 John Andress, 19 Pete Browne, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Ben Urdapilleta, 23 Ross Chisholm.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert (capt), 7 Andy Saull, 6 Jacques Burger, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Hayden Smith, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Matt Stevens.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Steve Borthwick, 20 Justin Melck, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Noah Cato.

Date: Saturday, May 7
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale13:00
Castres vs Leinster15:15
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles19:45
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Brive vs Zebre19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade FrancaisTBC
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615