Planet Rugby

Preview: Saracens v Leicester

01st January 2010 15:21

Share:

SKY_MOBILE deacon l Leicester

Deacon: Tigers return

Leicester Tigers welcome back captain Louis Deacon for the trip to face Guinness Premiership leaders Saracens at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Deacon was rested for last weekend's win over Sale Sharks as part of the England Elite Player Squad agreement and returns to join Geoff Parling at lock.

Boris Stankovich and George Chuter start alongside Dan Cole in the front row, and Ben Woods starts his first game since September after his recovery from injury.

England flanker Lewis Moody is rested for the trip south, while Brett Deacon also comes into the back row.

Tigers retain the same backline that started the bonus-point win over Sale Sharks.

Martin Castrogiovanni, Tom Croft, Aaron Mauger, Geordan Murphy and Julian White are unavailable due to injury.

Head coach Richard Cockerill told the club's official website: "This is a big part of the season for us with Saracens and London Wasps in the Guinness Premiership then two big games in the Heineken Cup before we go into the Six Nations period.

"We've had two good wins in the last two weeks and we need to maintain a bit of momentum, but Saracens are at the top of the table and we expect a tough test."

League leaders Saracens have made three changes for the visit of Leicester - all in the forwards.

Carlos Nieto, Tom Ryder and Andy Saull all return to the starting line-up while director of rugby Brendan Venter names an unchanged backline for the crunch clash.

Saracens lost for the first time in the Premiership this season at London Irish last weekend, but Venter explained that he expects his side to be a better team because of that defeat.

"You will lose games in sport - that is inevitable," he told the club's official website. "But the test of a good team is how you react and I am sure that we will be a better team for that defeat. We will learn from it.

"We are really looking forward to Saturday's game in front of a big crowd at Vicarage Road. Leicester have an excellent squad of players and have shown with their results this season that they fully intend to defend their title so we know it will be a very hard game."

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Rodd Penney, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Glen Jackson, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Wikus van Heerden, 5 Tom Ryder, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Matias Aguero
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Justin Melck, 21 Moses Rauluni, 22 Derick Hougaard, 23 Richard Haughton

Leicester Tigers: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Ben Woods, 6 Brett Deacon, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon (captain), 3 Dan Cole, 2 George Chuter, 1 Boris Stankovich
Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies, 17 Robbie Harris, 18 Marcos Ayerza, 19 Ben Kay, 20 Craig Newby, 21 James Grindal, 22 Jeremy Staunton, 23 Alesana Tuilagi

Date: Saturday, 2 January
Venue: Vicarage Road
Time: 15.00 GMT
Referee: Andrew Small

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders19:40
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00