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Preview: Leeds Carnegie v Saracens

17th September 2010 12:11

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Steve Borthwick saracens v Leeds

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Saracens have handed David Strettle his first start in black for Sunday's Aviva Premiership round three clash away to Leeds Carnegie.

The wing is given the number fourteen jersey following his try-scoring debut as a replacement against Sale and Steve Borthwick returns to lead.

Other changes see Ethienne Reynecke start at hooker with George Kruis, Justin Melck, Neil de Kock and Kameli Ratuvou all starting. Derick Hougaard is given the nod at fly half with Alex Goode reverting to full back.

Meanwhile, prop Rhys Gill has been ruled out for 8-10 weeks following the knee ligament damage he sustained last weekend. The Welshman has undergone surgery on Friday.

"Leeds are a very committed side and we are expecting a fiercely competitive match at Headingley. Our intensity and work-rate will have to be at its best if we are to get the result we want," said Director of Rugby Brendan Venter.

Meanwhile, Leeds Carnegie have made three changes to their side.

Juan Gomez will return from injury in the pace of Miguel Alonso, whilst Luther Burrell and Alfie To'oala are forced to miss out through injury. Burrell picked up a calf tear in the game against Gloucester whilst To'oala also sustained a strained adductor muscle in the game.

Sean Hohneck and Leigh Hinton have been brought into the squad to face last year's Finalists and will start the game on the replacement bench.

Christian Lewis-Pratt retains his place in the starting line up following his superb debut performance against Gloucester in which he scored 16 of his side's 21 points, whilst James Tincknell and Steve Thompson are set to make their first starts of the season.

Form: Leeds beat Saracens 19-12 at Headingley on 7 March to end an eight game losing run against the "Fez boys" in all competitions since 2004. Leeds Carnegie have not won any Premiership matches in rounds 1, 2 and 3 since beating Rotherham in season 2003/04. Leeds have won just one of their last three encounters at Headingley Carnegie: 12-10 against relegated Worcester Warriors on 25 April. Saracens have won their last four away games played at regular club grounds since Gloucester defeated them 29-28 at Kingsholm on 3 April. Saracens have won on five of their last six visits to Headingley.

The teams:

Leeds:15 Michael Stephenson, 14 Lee Blackett, 13 James Tincknell, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Semi Tadulala, 10 Christian Lewis-Pratt, 9 Scott Mathie, 8 Dan Browne, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Kearnan Myall, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Tom Denton, 3 Juan Gomez, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Mike Macdonald.
Replacements:16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Gareth Hardy, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Sean Hohneck, 20 Rhys Oakley, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Henry Fa'afili, 23 Leigh Hinton.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Justin Melck, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Matt Parr, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Michael Tagicakibau.

Date: Sunday, September 19
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Venue: Headingley Carnegie
Referee: Sean Davey

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