TEAM NEWS | Saracens Men v Connacht (ICC - Rd 2)
Nick Tompkins says Saturday’s crucial Investec Champions Cup clash against Connacht is the biggest game of the season so far as Saracens look to get their European campaign back on track.
The Men in Black welcome the Irish outfit to StoneX for the early kick-off on Saturday, knowing that a victory will bring them back in to contention for the knockout stages.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made four changes from the side that took on the Bulls last week in Pretoria, with one up front and three alterations to the back-line.
Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Alec Clarey continue in the front-row, with Theo McFarland coming in to the second-row to join Maro Itoje.
Juan Martin Gonzalez, Andy Christie and Billy Vunipola keep up their back-row combination, with the number eight free to play after having his red card overturned.
Aled Davies starts in the number nine shirt alongside captain Owen Farrell as his half-back partner.
Tompkins moves to outside centre and has Olly Hartley for company in the midifeld, and Lucio Cinti comes in to the back-three after an impressive cameo last week to join Sean Maitland and Alex Goode.
On the bench Logovi’i Mulipola could make his debut after joining on a short-term deal, and Theo Dan will be looking for more of the same after his incredible impact at Loftus Versfeld.
Tompkins says Saturday is a huge occasion for the club.
“Physically we weren’t there last week and we have had a long hard look at ourselves. We’ve got to be more consistent and decide who we want to be as a team.
We don’t want to over-react but we’ve got great leaders and have doubled down on the hard work. We are facing a very good team and this feels like the biggest game of the whole year.”
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Saracens Men team to play Connacht:
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 Aled Davies
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 Ivan van Zyl
22 Tom Parton
23 Alex Lewington