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Preview: Harlequins v Saracens

28th September 2012 10:16

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Seb Stegmann Harlequins

Starting: Seb Stegmann

Harlequins have made two changes to their starting line-up for their hugely-anticipated Premiership clash with Saracens at the Stoop on Sunday.

Among the backs, Seb Stegmann comes in for the injured Tom Williams and in the forwards, Tom Guest starts at blindside, with the dynamic Maurie Fa'asavalu covering from the bench.

With Ross Chisholm unavailable through injury for up to eight weeks, Sevens specialist Ollie Lindsay-Hague is among the replacements from where he will hope to make his first appearance as a senior squad member following promotion from the Academy this season.

Meanwhile for Saracens, Rhys Gill gets his first start of the season while Schalk Brits, Petrus du Plessis, Ernst Joubert, Richard Wigglesworth, Chris Wyles, Joel Tomkins and captain Steve Borthwick also return to the line-up for the match against the reigning champions.

On the bench, John Smit comes into the matchday 23 while there are also first outings of the season for second-row George Kruis, flanker Andy Saull and wing David Strettle after the trio missed the start of the term through injury.

Form: Harlequins, the defending Aviva Premiership champions, have made the perfect start to their defence with five straight wins. Quins have lost just one Premiership encounter at the Twickenham Stoop since Saracens won there in round 22 of the 2010/11 campaign. Saracens have gone 180 minutes without scoring a try - their longest tryless spell for two years. Sarries are winless in their last two games and have not had a three game run without a victory in the competition since March 2010. Harlequins ended a five game losing run against Saracens with their 24-19 win at Wembley Stadium in March, whilst Saracens have won on four of their last five visits to The Stoop.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 Olly Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague.

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

Date: Sunday, September 30
Kick-off: 14:00 BST
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden, Andrew Pearce
Television match official: David Grashoff

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