TEAM NEWS | Saracens Men v Bath Rugby
Head Coach Joe Shaw has challenged his players to keep making strides forward as they look to build on their impressive start to the season.
The Men in Black welcome Bath Rugby to StoneX Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and Shaw believes there are areas to improve on in both attack and defence when they run out tomorrow looking to make it five wins from five in the Gallagher Premiership.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made four changes to the starting line-up after the dominant victory over Newcastle Falcons, with two big injury boosts as Maro Itoje and Alex Goode both return to the starting line-up.
Eroni Mawi starts at loosehead, replacing Mako Vunipola who is suspended, and he will be alongside Kapeli Pifeleti and Marco Riccioni who both shone at Kingston Park.
Itoje partners Hugh Tizard in the second-row who is also back in the side after being rested last week, and they will be in front of a back-row which includes Gallagher Player of the Month Theo McFarland, Jackson Wray and Billy Vunipola.
In-form pair Ivan van Zyl and captain Owen Farrell stay as half-backs, as do the midfield pair of Nick Tompkins and Alex Lozowski.
Elliot Daly moves to the left wing to accommodate Alex Goode at full-back who makes his first start of the season, and Max Malins will be on the right.
There is plenty of firepower on the bench, with the likes of Andy Christie, Ben Earl and Alex Lewington all ready to add their input at StoneX.
Shaw is expecting another big challenge as his side go in search of another victory.
“Bath will be a tough test. Everyone has been talking about our attack but it’s important we get the fundamental parts of our game right and we just want to get better.
The game against Newcastle, particularly in the first half, was a step in the right direction both sides of the ball. If we can gradually get better week in week out, we’ll be in a decent position.”
Saracens Men team to play Bath Rugby:
1 Eroni Mawi
2 Kapeli Pifeleti
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Maro Itoje
5 Hugh Tizard
6 Theo McFarland
7 Jackson Wray
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Elliot Daly
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Alex Lozowski
14 Max Malins
15 Alex Goode
16 Theo Dan
17 James Flynn
18 Christian Judge
19 Andy Christie
20 Ben Earl
21 Ruben de Haas
22 Manu Vunipola
23 Alex Lewington