TEAM NEWS | Saracens Men v Lyon (ECC - Rd 3)
Captain Jamie George insists that Saracens Men are fully focused on continuing their strong start to the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday night when they welcome Lyon to StoneX Stadium.
Sarries won their first two matches in December on their European return which puts them in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stages, and another win tomorrow would see them take a huge step towards that.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made four changes after the dramatic win at Kingsholm, and all four come in the back-line which has a balance of pace and power to take on the French side.
Mako Vunipola and Marco Riccioni will be either side of George who skippers the side in the front-row, with Maro Itoje and Hugh Tizard continuing in the engine room.
Andy Christie, Ben Earl and Billy Vunipola in the back-row have a big task on their hands against a sizeable Lyon pack.
Ivan van Zyl returns at scrum-half, and he has Alex Goode alongside him at half-back following Owen Farrell’s ban.
Nick Tompkins is also back to join Alex Lozowski in the midfield, and there are two changes to the back-three. Sean Maitland is back on the left wing and Elliot Daly returns to full-back, with Max Malins on the right.
On the bench Tom Woolstencroft and Manu Vunipola both return from injury, and hot prospect Theo Dan could be in line for his European debut when called upon.
Captain George says the Men in Black can’t wait for the challenge on Saturday at StoneX.
“We love this competition and after making a strong start in the first two rounds we are all desperate to give ourselves the best chance of qualification.
The game over in Lyon was a huge challenge and we are expecting exactly the same. They are an incredibly physical side and we had to work incredibly hard for that win so we have had a big week of training ahead of what is a really important game for us.”
Saracens Men team to play Lyon:
1 Mako Vunipola
2 Jamie George (c)
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Maro Itoje
5 Hugh Tizard
6 Andy Christie
7 Ben Earl
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan Van Zyl
10 Alex Goode
11 Sean Maitland
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Alex Lozowski
14 Max Malins
15 Elliot Daly
16 Tom Woolstencroft
17 Eroni Mawi
18 Christian Judge
19 Nick Isiekwe
20 Theo Dan
21 Aled Davies
22 Manu Vunipola
23 Alex Lewington