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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.

  • Saracens Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Friday , October 3
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Saturday , October 11
Saracens vs Gloucester15:00
Saturday , November 15
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Saturday , November 22
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Saturday , November 29
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Saturday , December 20
Saracens vs London Welsh15:00
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Saturday , October 18
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , December 6
Sale vs SaracensTBC
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  • Saracens Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
Saturday , September 6
Saracens 34 - 28 Wasps
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  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39