Planet Rugby

Preview: Saracens v Munster

14th December 2012 12:33

Share:

Owen Farrell Saracens Aviva Premiership

Moved to 10: Owen Farrell

Saracens have moved Owen Farrell from outside centre to fly-half for their Heineken Cup Pool rematch with Munster at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Both teams are level on match points in Pool 1 and in team news ahead of what will be a near sell-out crowd in Watford, Farrell starts the game at ten, with Joel Tomkins, David Strettle and George Kruis all coming into the starting line-up from the side that faced Munster last weekend.

Charlie Hodgson, Chris Wyles and Ernst Joubert all move to the bench while the hamstring injury that Andy Saull picked up on Monday in the A-League semi-final rules him out of the 23. Adam Powell, Jackson Wray, Jacques Burger, Justin Melck, Alistair Hargreaves and Joe Maddock also miss out through injury.

"It's not often in sport that you get a chance to rectify things that may have gone wrong the week before, but that's the beauty of these rounds three and four matches against the same opposition and it represents a great opportunity for the squad to put in the kind of performance we know we can deliver," said Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall.

"We are level on match points and both teams have the chance to take control of the group going into the final two rounds of matches. But we have to make sure that our fundamentals and foundations are excellent across the pitch if we are to get the result that we want."

Meanwhile, Munster make just one change for the return game with Casey Laulala into the side in place of the injured Keith Earls.

Earls trained in Limerick on Tuesday but later complained of groin trouble and so withdraws with Laulala resuming the centre partnership he enjoyed with James Downey for the Racing Metro and Edinburgh games.

On Tuesday at the media briefing Rob Penney had expressed concern over several players, including Earls, but there was no further cause for concern after those players - Simon Zebo, BJ Botha, Dave O'Callaghan - came through training on Friday in Cork.

The teams:

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

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett (capt), 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Peter O'Mahony, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Peter Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Luk O'Dea.

Date: Sunday, December 16
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Vicarage Road
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garces (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
Television match official: Gérard Borreani (France)

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
Saturday , December 6
Sale vs Saracens13:00
Munster vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Harlequins vs LeinsterTBC
Leicester vs ToulonTBC
Ulster vs ScarletsTBC
Montpellier vs BathTBC
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
Sunday , October 19
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster28
2Saracens25
3Sale Sharks11
4Clermont Auvergne11
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster14
2Harlequins14
3Wasps11
4Castres10
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon28
2Scarlets24
3Leicester Tigers24
4Ulster21
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Glasgow Warriors29
2Toulouse28
3Montpellier22
4Bath21
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton25
2Ospreys25
3Racing Metro Paris14
4Treviso10