Preview: Saracens v Sale Sharks

29th Nov 2013, 14:53

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Inside centre: Owen Farrell

Inside centre: Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell returns to the side at inside centre for Saracens to face Sale Sharks in Round Nine of the Aviva Premiership.


Owen Farrell returns to the side at inside centre for Saracens to face Sale Sharks in Round Nine of the Aviva Premiership.

Farrell will partner Chris Wyles in the midfield. Charlie Hodgson continues at fly-half, alongside Springbok international Neil de Kock in the halves.

Jack Wilson makes his Premiership debut on the right wing, alongside England internationals David Strettle and Alex Goode.

In the pack Ernst Joubert returns at number eight to partner Will Fraser and Jackson Wray in the back row. Steve Borthwick captains the side at second row, alongside George Kruis. Richard Barrington starts in the front row, alongside Schalk Brits and Matt Stevens.

Meanwhile, Charlie Ingall starts on the right wing for Sale Sharks with Danny Cipriani partnering Dwayne Peel at half-back.

Form: Saracens continue to top the Premiership table having lost only once in the opening eight rounds: 20-41 at Northampton on 26th October. Saracens have won all nine regular season Premiership matches they have played since moving to their new stadium at Allianz Park.

Sale Sharks 26-10 home win over bottom placed Worcester Warriors on Friday was their first in the Premiership since round 5. The Sharks have won just once away from home in the Premiership since February: 22-16 at Gloucester on 7th September. Sale's only Premiership victory over Saracens since 2008 was 28-22 at Edgeley Park on 2nd January 2011, whilst the only occasion in which Sale have won on Saracens soil in Premiership history came at Vicarage Road in September 2005.

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Jack Wilson, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Jared Saunders, 18 James Johnston, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Marcelo Bosch.

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Charlie Ingall, 13 Mark Jennings, 12 Jonny Leota, 11 Will Addison, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 James Flynn, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Tom Brady.

Date: Saturday 30th November
Venue: Allianz Park
Kick-off: 1500 (local and GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Andy Watson, Nigel Carrick
TMO: Sean Davey