TEAM NEWS | Harlequins v Saracens Men (GPR - Rd 6)
Andy Christie believes there is always more edge to matches against Harlequins, as Saracens Men prepare to make the journey to the Twickenham Stoop for Saturday’s local derby.
The Men in Black head to West London for a mouthwatering clash with their local rivals in front of the TNT cameras as two of the Gallagher Premiership heavyweights meet with bragging rights at stake.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has welcomed back a number of Rugby World Cup stars for what is always one of the biggest games of the season as Sarries look to make it four league wins on the bounce.
Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Marco Riccioni start in the front-row, with Maro Itoje and former Harlequin Hugh Tizard in the second-row.
Juan Martin Gonzalez continues at blindside flanker after impressing on his debut in Newcastle, and he has Christie and Billy Vunipola for company in the back-row.
Ivan van Zyl and captain Owen Farrell reignite their half-back partnership, and Farrell will be making his 150th Premiership appearance. The tried and tested pairing of Nick Tompkins and Alex Lozowski in the midfield stays unchanged.
Elliot Daly moves to the left wing, with Alex Lewington on the right and Alex Goode at full-back in an experienced back-three.
On the bench there is significant firepower to add to the pack, with the likes of Theo Dan, Tom Willis and Ben Earl all primed to make an impact when called upon.
Christie says these matches are always ones that he looks for in the calendar.
“It’s always a brilliant game against Quins and it’s a really big week for us. There’s a bit more edge to these fixtures so we know the boys will properly rip in on Saturday night.
They have had a good start to the season and it will be a tough test but we can’t wait to get out there and get stuck in.”
Saracens Men team to play Harlequins:
1 Mako Vunipola
2 Jamie George
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Maro Itoje
5 Hugh Tizard
6 Juan Martin Gonzalez
7 Andy Christie
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan Van Zyl
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Elliot Daly
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Alex Lozowski
14 Alex Lewington
15 Alex Goode
16 Theo Dan
17 Eroni Mawi
18 Alec Clarey
19 Tom Willis
20 Ben Earl
21 Aled Davies
22 Olly Hartley
23 Tom Parton