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Preview: Harlequins v Saracens

26th December 2011 15:34

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Peter Stringer Saracens Heineken Cup

Peter Stringer: First start for Sarries

Jordan Turner-Hall returns to the Harlequins midfield for Tuesday's first versus second Aviva Premiership showdown with Saracens at Twickenham.

In what is set to be an 80,000 sell-out, Turner-Hall returns from injury to replace Tom Casson in the one change to the back-line which toppled mighty Toulouse in the Heineken Cup last week, one of the greatest of all Harlequins' victories.

Up front Joe Marler and Chris Brooker return to the front row in place of Mark Lambert and Joe Gray, and Will Skinner, suspended following his red card in France, is replaced by Maurie Fa'asavalu.

Meanwhile, Saracens give Ireland veteran Peter Stringer his first start since joining from Munster with Ben Spencer dropping to the bench, the only change to their back-line from last week's win over the Ospreys.

But Mark McCall is forced into changes in his pack, with Jacques Burger ruled out for eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery this week.

Andy Saull comes in to replace him, and in the second row George Kruis starts in place of Mouritz Botha. In the front row Carlos Nieto comes in with Matt Stevens dropping to the bench.

Form: Harlequins' only defeat in any competition since May was 10-21 to Toulouse at the Twickenham Stoop on December 9. Quins have a perfect played ten, won ten record in Aviva Premiership action this season, whilst Harlequins have won on their last two visits to Twickenham, both against London Irish. Saracens have won their last three games in all competitions, whilst their only Premiership defeat since the opening round was 8-30 at Northampton on round nine. Sarries only victory in their last four visits to Twickenham was in last season's Aviva Premiership Final against Leicester. Saracens have won their last four encounters with Quins. The two teams have clashed once before at Twickenham, with Harlequins winning 24-21 on September 6, 2008.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Tomas Vallejos, 3 James Johnston, 2 Chris Brooker, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Tim Fairbrother, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Richard Bolt, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Tom Williams.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Owen Farrell, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.

Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 John Smit, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Adam Powell, 23 Chris Wyles.

  • Harlequins Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , December 20
Harlequins vs Newcastle15:00
Saturday , December 27
Harlequins vs Northampton15:00
Sunday , January 4
London Welsh vs Harlequins14:30
Saturday , January 10
Harlequins vs Leicester15:00
Sunday , February 15
Wasps vs Harlequins14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , December 7
Harlequins vs Leinster15:15
Saturday , December 13
Leinster vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , January 17
Harlequins vs WaspsTBC
Saturday , January 24
Castres vs HarlequinsTBC
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Harlequins Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
LV= Cup
Friday , November 7
Harlequins 31 - 21 Newport Gwent D'gons
Sunday , November 2
Saracens 25 - 20 HarlequinsSaracens vs Harlequins Report
More LV= Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Wasps 16 - 23 Harlequins
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 Castres
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 10
Leicester 22 - 16 Harlequins
Saturday , October 4
Harlequins 52 - 0 London Welsh
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
5Wasps720
6Sale Sharks820
7Harlequins819
8Gloucester816
9Leicester Tigers716