TEAM NEWS | Saracens Men v Northampton Saints (GPR - Rd 8)
Juan Martin Gonzalez says he is incredibly excited to be making his home debut at StoneX Stadium after an impressive start to life at Saracens.
The Argentinian starred in the away wins at Newcastle and Harlequins, and will run out in North London for the first time on Saturday when the Men in Black welcome Northampton Saints for a crucial Gallagher Premiership match.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made eight changes from the side that beat Bristol Bears last Saturday, as Sarries go in search of their sixth consecutive win in the league.
Tom West, Theo Dan and Alec Clarey start in the front-row, with captain Maro Itoje joining Theo McFarland in an exciting second-row. Gonzalez returns at blindside flanker, and he has Player of the Month nominee Andy Christie and Billy Vunipola for company at the base of the scrum.
Ivan van Zyl is back at scrum-half, and Manu Vunipola starts in the number 10 shirt, replacing Owen Farrell who picked up a minor knock in the win over Bristol.
Nick Tompkins has Lucio Cinti alongside him in the midfield who is also making his home debut, and the back-three of Tom Parton, Sean Maitland and Alex Goode will as ever be looking to give the side a clinical edge in front of the home faithful.
On the bench there is a wealth of experience with the likes of Jamie George and Mako Vunipola ready to add their impact, and Alex Lewington will look to continue his form after scoring a brace against the Bears.
Gonzalez can’t wait to get back out there on Saturday.
“I got a very warm welcome when I arrived, everyone helped me to settle in. It has been great to play a couple of games and I was delighted to score my first try for the club against Newcastle Falcons.
The competition for places is crazy, and that’s not just from the internationals in the squad. Standards are high and I know I’ve got a fight on my hands every week to get the chance to play so to get the chance at home this week is incredible for me.”
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Saracens Men team to play Northampton Saints:
1 Tom West
2 Theo Dan
3 Alec Clarey
4 Maro Itoje (c)
5 Theo McFarland
6 Juan Martin Gonzalez
7 Andy Christie
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Manu Vunipola
11 Tom Parton
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Lucio Cinti
14 Sean Maitland
15 Alex Goode
16 Jamie George
17 Mako Vunipola
18 Christian Judge
19 Hugh Tizard
20 Toby Knight
21 Aled Davies
22 Olly Hartley
23 Alex Lewington
Alex Lozowski, Ben Earl, Callum Hunter-Hill, Elliot Daly (Post RWC Rest), Josh Hallett, Marco Riccioni, Nick Isiekwe, Ollie Hoskins, Owen Farrell, Ralph Adams-Hale, Rotimi Segun, Tom Willis, Tom Woolstencroft.