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
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 Tigers 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 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
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