Planet Rugby

Preview: Worcester v Saracens

22nd November 2012 12:14

Share:

Saracens Ernst Joubert 2012

Back for Sarries: Ernst Joubert

Saracens welcome back Matt Stevens, Steve Borthwick, Ernst Joubert and Richard Wigglesworth for Friday's Premiership clash with Worcester at Sixways.

Ben Ransom is named at full-back for what will be his Premiership debut.

Meanwhile, Worcester Head Coach Richard Hill has urged his Warriors to go on the attack as he rings the changes to his side.

Hill makes three changes in the back line to the side that suffered league defeat to Exeter Chiefs as Joe Carlisle is named at inside centre, where he will partner Fiji international Josh Matavesi.

A new look combination out wide will see Nikki Walker recalled for his first league start since later September after impressing in the LV=Cup while Errie Claassens is also back on the wing.

Chris Jones makes a positional change as he moves into the second row to partner captain James Percival.

Two changes in the back row see former Ireland international Neil Best make his first league start of the season while big Number Eight Semisi Taulava is also recalled after his heroics off the bench against Scarlets in the LV= Cup.

Rob O'Donnell could make his first league appearance for Warriors after being named among the replacements.

"Our selection is geared towards attack and we have made several changes," said Hill.

"We need to go out and attack the opposition and do that with some confidence.

"I'm looking for big ball carriers in the forwards and have put a talented attacking team out in the three-quarters. Our strength in depth is now much better than it was last year because we have much more competition for places

"The first part of the season is finished now," he added. "We are into this middle block of games and week in and week out we have huge fixtures. It is a very exciting period for the team to look forward to.

"We are looking at a crucial period over late November, Christmas and New Year which will determine where our season goes. We have got to make sure we prepare as well as we possibly can and get good results."

Form: Worcester Warriors' last five games in all competitions have all been won by the home side on the day. The Warriors are unbeaten in their last five matches at Sixways since their 23-24 reversal there to Bath on 1 September. Saracens' 23-25 defeat at Sale in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday ended a seven game winning run in all tournaments. Sarries only defeat on the road in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season was 12- 14 at Exeter Chiefs in round four. Worcester won the most recent encounter between the two clubs: 16-11 at Sixways on 24 February, whilst Saracens have not won at Sixways since 6 October 2007.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Josh Matavesi, 12 Joe Carlisle, 11 Errie Claassens, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Semisi Taulava, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Chris Jones, 4 James Percival (c), 3 John Andress, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 James Currie, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Alex Grove, 23 Andy Short.

Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 David Strettle, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Kameli Ratuvou, 11 Duncan Taylor, 10 Nils Mordt, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Jamie George, 1 Matt Stevens.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Lorenzo Romano 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Sam Stanley, 23 James Short.

Date: Friday, November 23
Venue: Sixways
Kick-off: 20.00 GMT
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
England 28 - 9 Samoa
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820