TEAM NEWS | Saracens Men v Lyon (ICC - Rd 4)
Billy Vunipola believes there are brighter times ahead as Saracens Men head in to their must-win Investec Champions Cup clash against Lyon at StoneX Stadium on Saturday night.
The Men in Black know that they need a victory to progress to the Last 16 of Europe’s Premier Competition, in what should be a thrilling encounter under the floodlights in North London.
Sarries, who have one win under their belt so far in this competition welcome the French side to StoneX for what could be a European classic.
Logovi’i Mulipola, Theo Dan and Christian Judge start in a physical front-row, with Maro Itoje and Nick Isiekwe, who were both called up in to the England Six Nations squad this week in the second-row.
Juan Martin Gonzalez returns to the back-row, with Ben Earl and Billy Vunipola also at the base of the scrum.
Ivan van Zyl and captain Owen Farrell maintain their half-back partnership, with Nick Tompkins and Elliot Daly once again combining in the midfield.
Lucio Cinti and Rotimi Segun come back in to the XV on the wings, with Alex Goode at full-back for the must-win game.
On the bench Sam Crean will be looking to keep up his impressive work at scrum-time, and Tom Parton can inject his energy in to proceedings when called upon.
Vunipola says the squad have had a big week to ensure they bounce back on Saturday night.
“It was a tough result to take last week. Having said that, we’re grateful that all the boys are fit and healthy and we can start building from what essentially is the bottom.”
There are things for us to build on. If we can get our foundations right, I’m sure we will be alright. We’ll get better and I’m sure we will be in the mix by the end of this tournament.”
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Saracens Men team to play Lyon:
1 Logovi’i Mulipola
2 Theo Dan
3 Christian Judge
4 Maro Itoje
5 Nick Isiekwe
6 Juan Martin Gonzalez
7 Ben Earl
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Lucio Cinti
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Elliot Daly
14 Rotimi Segun
15 Alex Goode
16 James Hadfield
17 Sam Crean
18 Ollie Hoskins
19 Hugh Tizard
20 Toby Knight
21 Gareth Simpson
22 Olly Hartley
23 Tom Parton