Planet Rugby

Preview: Saracens v Rovigo

09th October 2009 12:15

Share:

Michael Owen pass for Saracens

Leading from eight: Michael Owen

Saracens get their European campaign up and running on Sunday when Rugby Rovigo visit Vicarage Road in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

In team news ahead of the game, Kevin Sorrell and Rodd Penney get their first starts of the season following injury while there are also full Saracens debuts for Michael Horak, Michael Tagicakibau, Kevin Barrett and Jake Sharp.

England U20s number ten Sharp has come through the ranks at Saracens having first pulled on a shirt as an U7 and after impressing in the club's A-League matches so far this season, Director of Rugby Brendan Venter gives the 19-year-old a first start.

Sorrell returns to first team action for the first time in seven months following knee surgery and Penney also gets a run out after picking up an injury in pre-season. Centre Adam Powell misses out with a hamstring injury picked up in training.

Michael Owen captains the side while Horak, Tagicakibau and Barrett have also impressed for the Saracens Storm this season and as Venter explained, they deserve an opportunity.

"Although we are starting a new competition on Sunday, our focus remains the same and that is to try and win every game," he said.

"We want to go out there on Sunday and perform to the high standards we have already set and continue to grow as a group of players.

"We have made some changes for the game but it really does show the strength of the squad we have at this club.

"Our schedule could see us play 40 games this season and we will need the entire squad fit and fresh for the challenge on Sunday and also the rest of the season."

More to follow...

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Michael Horak, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Rodd Penney, 12 Kevin Sorrell, 11 Richard Haughton, 10 Jake Sharp, 9 Kevin Barrett, 8 Michael Owen (c), 7 Justin Melck, 6 Don Barrell, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Richard Skuse, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Alex Brown, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Wikus van Heerden, 21 Justin Marshall, 22 Derick Hougaard, 23 Noah Cato.

Rovigo: 15 Pablo Calanchini, 14 Roberto Pedrazzi, 13 Andrea Pratichetti, 12 Andrea Sartoretto, 11 Marcello De Gasperi, 10 German Bustos, 9 Pietro Travagli, 8 Niccolò Badocchi, 7 Edoardo Lubian, 6 Younes Anouer, 5 Daniele Tumiati, 4 Tomasso Reato, 3 Giovanni Boccalon, 2 Luke Mahoney, 1 Andrea de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Flavio Damiano, 17 Gonzalo Buquete, 18 Massimiliano Ravalle, 19 Marco Barion, 20 Juan Cruz Legora, 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Emanuel Pellegrini, 23 Stefano Canale,

Date: Sunday, October 11

Kick-off: 15:00 BST

Venue: Vicarage Road

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)

Assistant referees: Akim Hadj Bachir (France), Stephan Pomarède (France)

Television match official: John Burtenshaw (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Preview
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058