TEAM NEWS | Newcastle Falcons v Saracens Men
Marco Riccioni says he cannot wait to make his first start since returning from injury against Newcastle Falcons on Sunday.
The Italian made his highly anticipated return last week from the bench in the win over Leicester Tigers following a knee injury in November 2021, and now he will start as Sarries hit the road again looking to continue their promising early season form.
There are three changes to the starting line-up and they all come up front, as Kapeli Pifeleti, Riccioni and Jackson Wray all get the nod for the trip to Kingston Park.
Mako Vunipola remains at loosehead with Pifeleti and Riccioni alongside him in the front-row, whilst Theo McFarland moves in to the second-row to accompany Callum Hunter-Hill.
Wray is at blindside after making his 200th Premiership appearance last week, and he will have Ben Earl and Billy Vunipola for company in the back-row.
Ivan van Zyl and captain Owen Farrell continue their half-back partnership which flourished against the Tigers, with Nick Tompkins and Alex Lozowski also staying in a settled midfield.
Alex Lewington will be on the left wing, with Max Malins on the right and in-form Elliot Daly at full-back.
On the bench there is a mix of experience and youth which will excite Sarries fans. There will be opportunities for academy graduates Theo Dan and Josh Hallett to make their mark, whilst Alex Goode will be eyeing up another step towards full fitness after making his return last Saturday.
Riccioni is excited to take on a Falcons side who will be full of confidence after their victory over Bristol.
“10 months was a long time to be out and of course I have to say thanks to all the staff who helped along the way.
I can’t wait for the game and after such a good start to the season we have to keep pushing so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Saracens Men team to play Newcastle Falcons:
1 Mako Vunipola
2 Kapeli Pifeleti
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Callum Hunter-Hill
5 Theo McFarland
6 Jackson Wray
7 Ben Earl
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan Van Zyl
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Alex Lewington
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Alex Lozowski
14 Max Malins
15 Elliot Daly
16 Theo Dan
17 Eroni Mawi
18 Alec Clarey
19 Hugh Tizard
20 Andy Christie
21 Ruben de Haas
22 Alex Goode
23 Josh Hallett