Planet Rugby

Preview: Worcester v Saracens

22nd November 2012 12:14

Share:

Saracens Ernst Joubert 2012

Back for Sarries: Ernst Joubert

Saracens welcome back Matt Stevens, Steve Borthwick, Ernst Joubert and Richard Wigglesworth for Friday's Premiership clash with Worcester at Sixways.

Ben Ransom is named at full-back for what will be his Premiership debut.

Meanwhile, Worcester Head Coach Richard Hill has urged his Warriors to go on the attack as he rings the changes to his side.

Hill makes three changes in the back line to the side that suffered league defeat to Exeter Chiefs as Joe Carlisle is named at inside centre, where he will partner Fiji international Josh Matavesi.

A new look combination out wide will see Nikki Walker recalled for his first league start since later September after impressing in the LV=Cup while Errie Claassens is also back on the wing.

Chris Jones makes a positional change as he moves into the second row to partner captain James Percival.

Two changes in the back row see former Ireland international Neil Best make his first league start of the season while big Number Eight Semisi Taulava is also recalled after his heroics off the bench against Scarlets in the LV= Cup.

Rob O'Donnell could make his first league appearance for Warriors after being named among the replacements.

"Our selection is geared towards attack and we have made several changes," said Hill.

"We need to go out and attack the opposition and do that with some confidence.

"I'm looking for big ball carriers in the forwards and have put a talented attacking team out in the three-quarters. Our strength in depth is now much better than it was last year because we have much more competition for places

"The first part of the season is finished now," he added. "We are into this middle block of games and week in and week out we have huge fixtures. It is a very exciting period for the team to look forward to.

"We are looking at a crucial period over late November, Christmas and New Year which will determine where our season goes. We have got to make sure we prepare as well as we possibly can and get good results."

Form: Worcester Warriors' last five games in all competitions have all been won by the home side on the day. The Warriors are unbeaten in their last five matches at Sixways since their 23-24 reversal there to Bath on 1 September. Saracens' 23-25 defeat at Sale in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday ended a seven game winning run in all tournaments. Sarries only defeat on the road in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season was 12- 14 at Exeter Chiefs in round four. Worcester won the most recent encounter between the two clubs: 16-11 at Sixways on 24 February, whilst Saracens have not won at Sixways since 6 October 2007.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Josh Matavesi, 12 Joe Carlisle, 11 Errie Claassens, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Semisi Taulava, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Chris Jones, 4 James Percival (c), 3 John Andress, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 James Currie, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Alex Grove, 23 Andy Short.

Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 David Strettle, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Kameli Ratuvou, 11 Duncan Taylor, 10 Nils Mordt, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Jamie George, 1 Matt Stevens.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Lorenzo Romano 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Sam Stanley, 23 James Short.

Date: Friday, November 23
Venue: Sixways
Kick-off: 20.00 GMT
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39