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Preview: Saracens v Sale Sharks

04th January 2013 11:47

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Owen Farrell Sale v Saracens

Starting ten: Owen Farrell

Saracens return to Vicarage Road on Sunday when Sale Sharks are the visitors for the Aviva Premiership Round 13 clash.

In team news ahead of the game, Owen Farrell starts the match at fly-half while Steve Borthwick returns to captain the side from the second row. Schalk Brits also returns at hooker and Richard Wigglesworth gets the nod at scrum half.

The only other change from the side that beat Northampton Saints last weekend sees James Short named on the wing in place of the rested Chris Ashton.

"Sale Sharks come to us on the back of a win over Worcester Warriors and with quality players all over the pitch, they are a dangerous side," said Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall.

"The odd result apart, they have been involved in many close games and we know they will fight for everything on the pitch on Sunday, so we have to be ready."

Meanwhile, Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel returns to the Sale starting line-up after recovering from injury, replacing Cillian Willis.

Andy Powell returns at number eight, with Richie Vernon moving to openside flanker to replace captain Dave Seymour. New signing Daniel Braid is named amongst the replacements.

Form: Saracens only defeat in their last eight Aviva Premiership contests was 3-12 at Worcester Warriors on 23 November. This game is scheduled to be Saracens 159th and last Premiership encounter at Vicarage Road since October 1997 - their record in Watford being won 112, lost 43, drawn 3. Sale Sharks doubled their tally of Premiership victories this season at home to Worcester on Friday. The Sharks' only away win in the tournament since December 2011 was 24-19 at Gloucester on 21 April. Sale have won just one of their last eight Premiership encounters with Saracens: 28-22 at Edgeley Park on 2 January 2011. The Sharks' only victory at Vicarage Road in 17 previous visits in all competitions was 40-32 in the Premiership on 25 September 2005.

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 James Short, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Duncan Taylor.

Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Andy Powell, 7 Richie Vernon, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Daniel Braid, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Charlie Amesbury, 23 Cameron Shepherd.

Date: Sunday, January 6
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Vicarage Road
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Andrew Watson
Timekeeper: Roy Marfleet
Assessor: Brian Campsall

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
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Leinster vs Munster18:30
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Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
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Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
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Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
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ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
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Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
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ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
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Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
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Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
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Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
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Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
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ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411