TEAM NEWS | Bordeaux Begles v Saracens Men (ICC - Rd 3)
Backs and Attack Coach Kevin Sorrell says the group can’t wait for Sunday’s blockbuster Investec Champions Cup clash against Bordeaux Begles.
The Men in Black head to the South West of France to face an in-form and star-studded Bordeaux side, needing a big performance to bring themselves back in to contention for the knockout stages.
So far Sarries have five points on the board after the bonus-point win over Connacht in Round Two, and have two French assignments over the next two rounds with the aim of heading in to the Last 16.
There are also two landmarks in the squad, as Sean Maitland and Billy Vunipola will both make their 50th appearances in the Champions Cup, adding to their incredible rugby CV’s.
Logovi’i Mulipola, Theo Dan and Christian Judge start in the front-row, with Maro Itoje and Hugh Tizard behind them in the second-row.
Nick Isiekwe comes in to the back-row, and he has Andy Christie and Ben Earl alongside him at the base of the scrum.
Ivan van Zyl and captain Owen Farrell will combine as half-backs, and they have Nick Tompkins and Elliot Daly outside them in the midfield after they showed some lovely attacking glimpses in Leicester last week.
Maitland and Alex Lewington return to start on the wings, and Alex Goode comes back in to help manage the game at full-back.
On the bench Vunipola can add his size and experience when called upon, and Rotimi Segun will look to take advantage of any open spaces once the game opens up.
Sorrell is aware of the threat ahead on Sunday.
“The run of games they’ve had recently, they have been outstanding. They have a big pack of forwards and multiple threats across the pitch so we know we’re in for a big challenge.
We’ve been a bit up and down but we feel like we’re close to what we’re striving for.
It’s the top competition in Europe so of course there is jeopardy on the games. It’s always tough to get out of the group and we’re aware that we need to pick up some points.”
Saracens Men team to play Bordeaux Begles:
1 Logovi’i Mulipola
2 Theo Dan
3 Christian Judge
4 Maro Itoje
5 Hugh Tizard
6 Nick Isiekwe
7 Andy Christie
8 Ben Earl
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Sean Maitland
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Elliot Daly
14 Alex Lewington
15 Alex Goode
16 James Hadfield
17 Sam Crean
18 Alec Clarey
19 Billy Vunipola
20 Juan Martin Gonzalez
21 Gareth Simpson
22 Olly Hartley
23 Rotimi Segun