TEAM NEWS | Sale Sharks v Saracens Men (GPR - Rd 9)
Olly Hartley is looking to build on his fine form as he gets another chance in the 12 shirt for Friday’s crucial top of the table Gallagher Premiership clash against Sale Sharks at the Salford Stadium.
The centre is enjoying a purple patch in the midfield, scoring twice against Connacht last week and he has been trusted once again for the trip up North.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made one change from the side that secured the bonus point win in the Investec Champions Cup at StoneX, with Ivan van Zyl coming back in to add further pace to the back-line.
Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Alec Clarey continue in the front-row, with Maro Itoje and Theo McFarland in the engine room.
Juan Martin Gonzalez keeps his place after a Player of the Match display which included one of the tries of the season, and he has Andy Christie and Billy Vunipola for company at the base of the scrum once again.
Van Zyl and captain Farrell will look to run the game as half-backs, and the centre pairing of Hartley and Nick Tompkins gets another runout.
Sean Maitland and Lucio Cinti, who both scored last week will go again on the wings, with the ever-present Alex Goode at full-back.
On the bench Hugh Tizard will add plenty of physicality to the pack against a sizeable Sharks outfit, and Tom Parton can inject significant pace when called upon.
Hartley is excited to take on the table-toppers under the lights.
“Last weekend was a massive step forward so we want to improve on that performance. This game is a big test but we’re looking at it as another opportunity to get better.
The experience really helps me. I can do my job and focus on that with so many good players around me who can give me great confidence.”
Saracens Men team to play Sale Sharks:
1 Mako Vunipola
2 Jamie George
3 Alec Clarey
4 Maro Itoje
5 Theo McFarland
6 Juan Martin Gonzalez
7 Andy Christie
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Sean Maitland
12 Olly Hartley
13 Nick Tompkins
14 Lucio Cinti
15 Alex Goode
16 Theo Dan
17 Tom West
18 Logovi’i Mulipola
19 Hugh Tizard
20 Toby Knight
21 Gareth Simpson
22 Manu Vunipola
23 Tom Parton