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
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26