TEAM NEWS | Exeter Chiefs vs Saracens Women (AP15s Semi-Final)
Saracens Women will be seeking to do what no side has done before, when they travel to Exeter in Sunday's Premier15s semi-final.
In a mouth-watering repeat of last season's final, Saracens will head to Sandy Park knowing that they will need to put in a full-blooded performance, if they are to secure a spot at Kingsholm.
For Poppy Cleall, she is relishing the prospect of a trip to Devon.
"We’re hunting them, but we’ve got to remember that we’ve never lost a semi-final. We’ve got to take massive faith from that. It’s a completely new challenge, but it’s one that we’re so excited for. We never take these moments for granted, so we want to go out there and do everyone proud."
Sarries have won twelve matches on the bounce to make it into the play-offs, and Cleall believes that her team can take heart from their recent performances.
"We’ve built really well into this semi-final. We had four hard games on the bounce and the questions they all posed to us will make us better as a side. You don’t need any more motivation than Exeter away in a semi-final."
Saracens have been able to welcome back a number of experienced heads for this semi-final.
The front row remains unchanged, with England internationals Hannah Botterman, May Campbell and Kelsey Clifford packing down.
In the second row, it's all change, as Louise McMillan returns from injury and Poppy Cleall shifts from the back row.
Georgia Evans returns to the fold at blindside flanker, with Sharifa Kasolo at openside and co-captain Marlie Packer at number 8.
Leanne Infante starts at 9, with Holly Aitchison pulling the strings at fly-half after a series of hugely impressive performances.
Sarah McKenna and Sydney Gregson again form the centre pairing, with co-captain Lotte Clapp returning to the fold on the left wing. Coreen Grant and Jess Breach are the other two players in the back three.
Amongst the replacements, there is plenty of knockout rugby experience. Jodie Rettie, Mackenzie Carson and Alex Ellis will add a wealth of international experience from the bench, whilst Fi McIntosh and Grace Moore are poised to bring a physical presence to proceedings.
Ella Wyras and Flo Williams will look to bring a calming presence to the field, should they come off the bench, whilst Isla Alejandro will be keen to show her speed and agility should she come onto the pitch.
Saracens have never played an away semi-final in the Premier15s era, but Cleall believes that her side are capable of going down to Devon and upsetting the odds.
"All the pressure is on Exeter. We all know the history that no side has ever lost a home semi-final. We need to go down there and wrestle this semi-final off them. We need to make sure we take our chances, but there’s a real never say die attitude in this group. We’re really up for it and we’re hoping we can get ourselves into another final."