TEAM NEWS | Gloucester Rugby v Saracens Men
Director of Rugby Mark McCall says that the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Final against Gloucester on Friday night is exactly the kind of fixture that Saracens have missed over the last 12 months.
The Men in Black will head to a raucous Kingsholm looking to secure a place in the last four, but face the in-form Cherry and Whites who will provide a stern challenge.
There are three changes to the starting XV from the side that beat Worcester Warriors last weekend, with two up front and one in the back-line.
Eroni Mawi, Jamie George and Vincent Koch continue in an unchanged front-row, with a big boost in the second-row as Maro Itoje returns to partner Tim Swinson.
Theo McFarland moves to blindside flanker, with Ben Earl at openside and Billy Vunipola at number eight.
Aled Davies and captain Owen Farrell will maintain their partnership as half-backs, as will Nick Tompkins and Elliot Daly in the midfield.
Sean Maitland is on the left wing, with Rotimi Segun on the right wing, and Alex Goode returns at full-back.
On the bench there is another injury boost as Alex Lozowski is back in the match day squad, and there is also significant international experience with the likes of Nick Isiekwe and Duncan Taylor ready enter proceedings.
McCall says the squad are extremely excited to get back in to knockout mode this weekend.
“When you get in to May and you’re involved in knockout rugby it’s exactly what you want. It’s been a big squad effort to get us to this stage.
To go to Gloucester on a Friday night in front of their crowd is the kind of atmosphere that we’ve missed and we’re going up against a team that are really on the up.
They have been brilliant at home and it’s one of the best places to go and play so we’re really looking forward to it.”
Saracens Men team to play Gloucester:
1 Eroni Mawi
2 Jamie George
3 Vincent Koch
4 Maro Itoje
5 Tim Swinson
6 Theo McFarland
7 Ben Earl
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Aled Davies
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Sean Maitland
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Elliot Daly
14 Rotimi Segun
15 Alex Goode
16 Kapeli Pifeleti
17 Richard Barrington
18 Alec Clarey
19 Nick Isiekwe
20 Andy Christie
21 Ivan van Zyl
22 Duncan Taylor
23 Alex Lozowski