TEAM NEWS | Lyon v Saracens Men (HCC - Rd 2)
Jamie George says Saracens are heading to Lyon looking to create more memories in a city that already has plenty of fond ones for the club.
The Men in Black won their first European crown there back in 2016, and head to the Matmut Stadium in need of another win to build on their opening day victory over Edinburgh in the Heineken Champions Cup.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made just one change to the starting XV for the trip to France with Callum Hunter-Hill starting in place of Maro Itoje who picked up a knock in training, and there is one alteration to the bench as Max Malins has recovered from a hamstring injury to return to the match day squad.
Mako Vunipola, George and Marco Riccioni continue in the front-row after a dominant display in the scrum in Round One, with Callum Hunter-Hill and Hugh Tizard in the second-row.
The back-row unit of Theo McFarland, Ben Earl and Billy Vunipola will be looking to win the battle of the breakdown against a formidable Lyon pack.
Ivan van Zyl and captain Owen Farrell maintain their half-back partnership, with Nick Tompkins and Alex Lozowski in the midfield.
Sean Maitland and Alex Lexington continue on the wings, with Elliot Daly at full-back after his Heineken Star of the Match display last Sunday.
Malins is a big boost to the bench, and both Tom Woolstencroft and Aled Davies will be aiming for more of the same after strong returns from injury last week.
George knows that the North Londoners will need to be on top of their game against the Challenge Cup winners from last season.
“We were rusty last week and it was frustrating but we have every confidence in the group that we are taking steps in the right direction.
This competition means a lot to us and we want to make a good account of ourselves. We’re going to need to be a lot better in Lyon, it’s a huge game for us and we’ve had good experiences there so hopefully we can create another one.”
Saracens Men team to play Lyon:
1 Mako Vunipola
2 Jamie George
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Callum Hunter-Hill
5 Hugh Tizard
6 Theo McFarland
7 Ben Earl
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Sean Maitland
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Alex Lozowski
14 Alex Lewington
15 Elliot Daly
16 Tom Woolstencroft
17 Eroni Mawi
18 Alec Clarey
19 Jackson Wray
20 Andy Christie
21 Aled Davies
22 Alex Goode
23 Max Malins