TEAM NEWS | Saracens Men v Exeter Chiefs (GPR - Rd 14)
Ben Earl says he will feel enormous pride when he makes his 100th appearance for the club against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday afternoon.
The back-rower has gone from strength to strength in recent years and will now become the latest centurion for the Men in Black when they welcome the Chiefs to StoneX Stadium in front of a bumper crowd on New Year’s Eve.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made four changes to the starting line-up as they look to get back to winning ways after suffering their first defeat of the season against London Irish last Friday night.
There is a big injury boost up front as Jamie George and Maro Itoje both return to the XV, whilst Jackson Wray also starts in the pack and there is one change to the backline as Max Malins comes in to start on the right wing.
Mako Vunipola and Marco Riccioni will start either side of George in the front-row, with Itoje partnering Nick Isiekwe in the engine room for the first time this season.
Andy Christie, Wray and Billy Vunipola have the task of providing front-foot ball from the base of the scrum.
Ivan van Zyl and captain Owen Farrell continue as half-backs, as do Nick Tompkins and Elliot Daly in the midfield.
In-form Sean Maitland continues on the left wing, with Malins on the right and Alex Goode at full-back.
On the bench Earl will make his 100th appearance when called upon, and Alex Lozowski returns to the squad after a brief suspension.
Earl is honoured to be reaching the landmark on Saturday.
“It is such an honour to play 100 times for this amazing club. The culture and the people at the club have shaped who I am as a person and as a player. To reach 100 games for your boyhood club is a dream come true and I have loved every minute of it.”
Saracens Men team to play Exeter Chiefs:
1 Mako Vunipola
2 Jamie George
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Maro Itoje
5 Nick Isiekwe
6 Andy Christie
7 Jackson Wray
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Sean Maitland
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Elliot Daly
14 Max Malins
15 Alex Goode
16 Kapeli Pifeleti
17 Eroni Mawi
18 Eduardo Bello
19 Hugh Tizard
20 Ben Earl
21 Aled Davies
22 Alex Lozowski
23 Alex Lewington