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Preview: Saracens v Leicester

14th September 2012 10:29

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Dan Cole pointing for Leicester Tigers

Back in: Dan Cole

Dan Cole and Logovi'i Mulipola return to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash with Saracens at Wembley Stadium.

Mulipola returns for his second start of the term as Tigers make a first-ever trip to Wembley, while Cole swaps with Martin Castrogiovanni after starting the win over Worcester on the bench.

In the only other change to the squad which gained a second successive bonus-point win in the opening weeks of the season last Saturday, hooker George Chuter is among the replacements.

"Most of us grew up with football's cup finals at Wembley and to play there is a great experience for all the players, young or old. Hopefully it will be a good spectacle and a big crowd," said Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

"We're obviously happy to start with 10 points from two games, and we've played some good stuff which will hold us in good stead for the trail ahead. But we're not playing as well as we would like and against teams like Saracens and Harlequins over the next two weeks you know you'll have to be at your best."

Meanwhile, Saracens have revealed that one lucky fan at the game will have the chance to win £1 million in the Domino's Catch-A-Million challenge at half-time. Just by catching three rugby balls, one fan selected at random could walk home with the largest prize ever given away at a sporting event.

Saracens players Alex Goode and Richard Wigglesworth both successfully took on the challenge in training on Thursday and both will be in action for the north London club.

In team news, Carlos Nieto, Jackson Wray, Neil de Kock, Owen Farrell and James Short all come into the starting line-up with Petrus du Plessis, Will Fraser, Richard Wigglesworth, Charlie Hodgson and Chris Wyles switching to the replacement's bench as Director of Rugby Mark McCall rotates his squad.

"In front of what will be another big crowd, there couldn't be a better stage for Saturday's game against a team with whom we have enjoyed some tough battles in the past few years," said McCall.

"Wembley has become a home from home for us in recent seasons, but it's a stage on which the players really enjoy performing and after a very good week of preparation, we can't wait for kick off.

"We have been pleased with our energy and appetite for work in the opening two games of the season and we must continue that against the Tigers to get the result we want."

Form: Saracens only defeat in their last six encounters was to today's opponents Leicester at Welford Road in last season's Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final. Sarries have taken five previous Premiership matches to Wembley Stadium, winning the first four but losing on last season's visit: 19-24 to Harlequins on 31 March. Leicester Tigers have begun the season with a pair of bonus point wins over London Welsh and Worcester Warriors. Tigers have won their last six away matches in all competitions. This is Leicester's first ever visit to Wembley Stadium, and they have beaten Saracens in their last two encounters.

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Alistair Hargreaves, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Chris Wyles.

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Graham Kitchener, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Rob Andrew, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Patrick Phibbs, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.

Date: Saturday, September 15
Kick-off: 15:30 BST
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick, Paul Dix
Television match official: Graham Hughes
Timekeeper: David Hudson
Assessor: Brian Campsall

  • Saracens Fixtures
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FixtureDetails
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Sunday , November 16
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Sunday , November 23
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Saturday , November 29
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Saturday , December 20
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Saturday , January 3
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Saturday , January 10
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Saturday , December 13
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European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 18
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
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Saturday , October 11
Saracens 28 - 21 GloucesterSaracens vs Gloucester Report
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Bath 21 - 11 Saracens
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Saracens 40 - 19 Sale Sharks
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Friday , September 12
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Saturday , September 6
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615