TEAM NEWS | Saracens Men v Leicester Tigers
Billy Vunipola says Saracens Men have started the new season with a new focus as they head in to Saturday’s match against Leicester Tigers looking to continue their winning start to the 2022/23 campaign.
The England number eight has been in outstanding form in the wins over Harlequins and Gloucester, and he knows that the Men in Black will need to be at their best in a re-run of the Gallagher Premiership Final from June.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made two changes to the starting line-up following the stunning victory over Gloucester last weekend, with Callum Hunter-Hill and Nick Tompkins both back in the XV.
Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Christian Judge continue in the front-row, with Hunter-Hill partnering Hugh Tizard who received his first call-up to the England squad this week.
Theo McFarland moves to the back-row, where he is joined by Ben Earl and Vunipola for what will be a busy day against the Tigers pack.
Ivan van Zyl and captain Owen Farrell will be managing the game as half-backs, using the combination of Tompkins and Alex Lozowski in the midfield.
The unchanged back-three of Alex Lewington, Max Malins and Elliot Daly will be looking to make the most of the try-scoring opportunities that come their way at StoneX.
On the bench there are three significant injury boosts, with Marco Riccioni back for the first time in 11 months following an ACL rupture, whilst Sean Maitland and Alex Goode both return to the matchday squad.
Vunipola says Sarries want to keep up their positive start on Saturday afternoon.
“This season we have a new focus on ourselves and how we can get better. We want to be a team that can adapt to anything and we want to play what’s in front of us, which we’ll have to do against a strong Leicester side.”
Saracens Men team to play Leicester Tigers:
1 Mako Vunipola
2 Jamie George
3 Christian Judge
4 Callum Hunter-Hill
5 Hugh Tizard
6 Theo McFarland
7 Ben Earl
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Alex Lewington
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Alex Lozowski
14 Max Malins
15 Elliot Daly
16 Kapeli Pifeleti
17 Eroni Mawi
18 Marco Riccioni
19 Andy Christie
20 Jackson Wray
21 Ruben de Haas
22 Alex Goode
23 Sean Maitland