TEAM NEWS | Saracens Men v Newcastle Falcons (GPR - Rd 18)
Captain Alex Goode is aware of the challenge ahead on Saturday as Saracens Men prepare to welcome a “dangerous’ Newcastle Falcons outfit to StoneX Stadium.
Sarries are looking to get back to winning ways after they left Leicester with a losing bonus point last Sunday, and they head in to the game in the knowledge that a positive result will see them take a huge step towards a semi-final spot.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made six changes to the starting line-up for the Falcons fixture, with a strong side selected for the first home match in four weeks.
Eroni Mawi keeps his place at loosehead, and Theo Dan starts at hooker after his terrific impact against the Tigers. Alec Clarey will make his 50th appearance for the club at tighthead.
Tom Ellis and Hugh Tizard continue in the well-functioning second-row, and there is a boost at the base of the scrum as Ben Earl returns to join Andy Christie and Billy Vunipola.
Ivan van Zyl and Manu Vunipola make up a new half-back pairing, and Olly Hartley will make his Premiership debut at inside centre next to the experienced Alex Lozowski in the midfield.
Alex Lewington will be looking to continue his excellent form on the left wing, whilst Rotimi Segun, fresh from signing a new deal will be on the right and captain Goode will be at full-back.
One the bench there is another opportunity for Toby Knight to shine after featuring for an hour at Welford Road, and Josh Hallett is back in the matchday 23 after recovering from injury.
Goode knows that Sarries are taking on a tough opponent on a day when StoneX Stadium will celebrate its 10 year anniversary.
“Newcastle are an incredibly dangerous attacking side with some real pace out wide so we’ll have to be switched on from minute one to 80 to get the result we’re after.
We come in to this game after what was ultimately a disappointing result against Leicester but there were lots of positives to come from the performance. Of course we need to fix the slow start but the way we responded with so many young players was very pleasing so hopefully we can build on that.”
Saracens Men team to play Newcastle Falcons:
1 Eroni Mawi
2 Theo Dan
3 Alec Clarey
4 Tom Ellis
5 Hugh Tizard
6 Andy Christie
7 Ben Earl
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Manu Vunipola
11 Alex Lewington
12 Olly Hartley
13 Alex Lozowski
14 Rotimi Segun
15 Alex Goode (c)
16 Kapeli Pifeleti
17 Robin Hislop
18 Eduardo Bello
19 Cameron Boon
20 Toby Knight
21 Aled Davies
22 Josh Hallett
23 Sean Maitland