Planet Rugby

Preview: Saracens v Exeter Chiefs

21st February 2014 11:00

Share:

Joel Tomkins Saracens 2013

Joel Tomkins: Back from injury for Sarries

Saracens boss Mark McCall has made several changes to his side for Sunday's clash with Exeter Chiefs at Allianz Park.

With the club celebrating it's one year birthday at Allianz Park, McCall has rotated his squad after their hard fought 10-15 victory away to Sale Sharks last Friday.

In the pack, Richard Barrington, Schalk Brits and James Johnston come into the side, with Jamie George and Matt Stevens reverting to the bench - Mako Vunipola is away on international duty with England.

Elsewhere, England Saxons lock George Kruis partners England international Mouritz Botha in the second row, whilst in the back row Jackson Wray and Kelly Brown pack down alongside No.8 Ernst Joubert who captains the side.

In the back-line, Ben Ransom starts at full-back replacing England international Alex Goode. On the wings Chris Wyles comes into the side for David Strettle (who is rested) and joins Chris Ashton on the flanks.

Joel Tomkins makes his long awaited return to the Saracens starting XV at outside centre and is partnered by Brad Barritt in the midfield.

Charlie Hodgson wears the number 10 shirt and is joined by familiar half-back partner Richard Wigglesworth in the halves.

Meanwhile, Exeter boss Rob Baxter has made three changes to his side that lost narrowly to Bath last weekend.

Baxter sticks with an unchanged pack, but behind there are changes. Henry Slade comes in at inside centre, Phil Dollman switches to full-back and there is a start for Tongan international Fetu'u Vainikolo on the right wing.

On the bench, Slade's promotion offers a first Premiership opportunity for Welshman Ceri Sweeney, whilst experienced Kiwi centre Jason Shoemark is also named in the travelling 23.

Form: Saracens head into this clash desperate to atone for their loss to London Irish at home a fortnight ago - their first home loss of the season. Exeter find themselves in a tricky run of form, losing four games on the bounce ahead of Sunday's match-up.

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert (c), 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 George Kruis, 3 James Johnston, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Steve Borthwick, 20 Jacques Burger, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Marcelo Bosch, 23 Tim Streather.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Henry Slade, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (capt), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Don Armand, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Jason Shoemark.

Date: Sunday 23rd February
Venue: Allianz Park
Kick-off: 1515 (local and GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng)
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick, Paul Burton (both Eng)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (Eng)

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
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
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
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
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
Friday , September 26
Taranaki vs Auckland19:35
More ITM 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