TEAM NEWS | Northampton Saints v Saracens Men (GPR - Rd 22)
Backs Coach Kevin Sorrell says Saracens Men will take the lessons learnt from the trip to La Rochelle in to the business end of the season as they prepare for the return of Gallagher Premiership action.
The Men in Black head to Franklin’s Gardens this weekend to face Northampton Saints, safe in the knowledge that a victory could confirm top spot as they build towards their home semi final.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made a number of changes to the squad for the trip to the East Midlands, with plenty of international stars given a break following a busy period domestically and on the Six Nations stage.
Eroni Mawi, Tom Woolstencroft and Christian Judge will spearhead the scrum, with Callum Hunter-Hill and Hugh Tizard combining in the second-row.
Nick Isiekwe continues in the back-row, and he is joined by Toby Knight and co-captain Jackson Wray at the base of the scrum.
Ruben de Haas gets an opportunity in the nine shirt, and he has Manu Vunipola as his half-back partner for the Northampton test.
Olly Hartley gets another chance at inside centre and will hope to carry on where he left off, and Duncan Taylor will be next to him in the midfield.
Alex Lewington and Rotimi Segun will occupy the wings, with co-captain Alex Goode pulling the strings from full-back.
On the bench there is international firepower in the form of Marco Riccioni and Ben Earl, and there could be a Premiership debut for back-row prospect Nathan Michelow at the age of just 18, a player who the coaches have huge excitement about.
Sorrell says Sarries will head to Saints with a focus on building some momentum for the coming weeks.
“The lessons were pretty harsh at the weekend. In games like that the windows of opportunity are very small so we’ve got an increased emphasis on our actions now.
It has been a hallmark of us as a group over the years to throw ourselves in to the next challenge and that will be no different this week.
Northampton have lots of talented players and a big attacking threat so we’ll respect the threat in front of us and go there to give the best account of ourselves.”
Saracens Men team to play Northampton Saints:
1 Eroni Mawi
2 Tom Woolstencroft
3 Christian Judge
4 Callum Hunter-Hill
5 Hugh Tizard
6 Nick Isiekwe
7 Toby Knight
8 Jackson Wray (cc)
9 Ruben de Haas
10 Manu Vunipola
11 Alex Lewington
12 Olly Hartley
13 Duncan Taylor
14 Rotimi Segun
15 Alex Goode (cc)
16 Theo Dan
17 Robin Hislop
18 Marco Riccioni
19 Nathan Michelow
20 Ben Earl
21 Ivan van Zyl
22 Josh Hallett
23 Ben Harris