Planet Rugby

Preview: Saracens v London Welsh

01st March 2013 11:46

Share:

George Kruis for Saracens

George Kruis: Starts at lock for Sarries

Saracens boss Mark McCall has made two changes to his starting XV for Sunday's Premiership clash with London Welsh at Allianz Park.

In the back-line, Duncan Taylor startes the match at inside centre in place of Adam Powell.

The other change to the starting XV sees George Kruis taking over from Alistair Hargreaves to partner captain Steve Borthwick in the second row.

On the replacement's bench, Andy Saull makes a first appearance since before Christmas having recovered from a fractured thumb while Jamie George, Mouritz Botha and Ben Ransom all come into the matchday squad.

"London Welsh have been a highly competitive team all season and they bring a high level of intensity and work rate to matches," explained McCall.

"The challenge for us on Sunday, and for the remainder of the season, is to continue to build on our performances and concentrate on our own game plan.

"If we get those things right, we will give ourselves a good chance of getting the outcome that we want."

Meanwhile, London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones has been forced into a number of changes with Gonzalo Tiesi, Neil Briggs and Ed Jackson all ruled out through injury.

Tiesi's place at outside centre is taken by Sonny Parker, while there's a debut on the wing for new signing Seb Stegmann.

Greg Bateman moves from tight head to hooker to replace Briggs, with James Tideswell coming into the front row.

In the second row, Kirill Kulemin partners captain Jonathan Mills, while there's a new look back row.

Jackson's place at number eight is taken by Alfie To'oala, with Julio Cabello Farias moving from openside to blindside flanker.

Michael Hills wears the number seven jersey.

"We were very disappointed with the result and our performance at Exeter last week and we're determined to put that right on Sunday, but it doesn't get any easier against arguably the best team in the Aviva Premiership at the moment," said Jones.

"However, we're looking forward to visiting Allianz Park and putting on a good show."

Form: Saracens only defeat in their last eleven encounters in all competitions was 16-29 at London Irish in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 9 February. Saracens have not lost any home game at their seven different home venues since Clermont Auvergne won 22-3 at Vicarage Road in the quarter-final of last season's European Cup. London Welsh have slipped to six successive Premiership defeats since beating London Irish 15-9 at Kassam Stadium on 1 December. The Exiles' solo away victory in the competition remains at 29-19 when they visited Sale on 21 September. Saracens won 28-23 at Oxford in their only previous Premiership encounter with London Welsh, whilst the Welshmen's only previous league win over Saracens was 23-7 way back on 12 September 1987 at Southgate in league division two (London Welsh's very first league game).

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 James Short, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Ben Ransom.

London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Phil MacKenzie, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Seb Jewell, 11 Seb Stegmann, 10 Gavin Henson, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Alfie To'oala, 7 Michael Hills, 6 Julio Cabello Farias, 5 Kirill Kulemin, 4 Jonathan Mills (c), 3 James Tideswell, 2 Greg Bateman, 1 Franck Montanella.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Paulica Ion, 19. Matt Corker, 20 Daniel Browne, 21 Alex Davies, 22 Gordon Ross, 23 Tom Voyce.

Date: Sunday, March 3
Kick-off: 14:15
Venue: Allianz Park
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Kevin Stewart, Andrew Watson
Television match official: David Grashoff

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London WelshSale vs London Welsh Preview
London Irish vs SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Preview
Harlequins vs WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Preview
Bath vs LeicesterBath vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets vs Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26