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TEAM NEWS | Vodacom Bulls v Saracens Men (ICC - Rd 1)

08.12.23
In association with
City Index City Index
Teams3

Director of Rugby Mark McCall says the Investec Champions Cup is a special competition as he prepares for his side to start their campaign against The Bulls at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

The Men in Black have an enormous challenge ahead of them in Pretoria against the in-form Bulls, and are hoping to start strongly in their pursuit of a fourth European trophy.

The coaching team have named a side stacked with experience for the South African test, with six changes to the starting line-up from the XV that took on Northampton last week.

Mako Vunipola and Jamie George both return to the front-row alongside Alec Clarey, and Maro Itoje is joined by Hugh Tizard in a powerful second-row.

The dynamic back-row of Juan Martin Gonzalez, Andy Christie and Billy Vunipola will be looking to provide quick ball for the back-line on the hard surface in Pretoria.

Ivan van Zyl faces his former side at scrum-half, and captain Owen Farrell returns in the number 10 shirt after recovering from a minor knee injury.

Nick Tompkins has Elliot Daly for company in the midfield, and the back-three of Sean Maitland, Alex Lewington and Alex Goode will need to take any chances that come their way.

On the bench Christian Judge will make his 50th appearance when called upon, Theo McFarland can add some stardust, and Lucio Cinti also provides plenty of versatility to the backline.

McCall can't wait for Saturday’s huge occasion in the Rainbow nation.

“It feels different and feels special. We’ve had a good relationship with this competition for a very long period of time and games don’t come much tougher than the Bulls away. It’s a challenge, but that normally brings out the best of the group we’ve got.”

Saracens Men team to play Vodacom Bulls:

1 Mako Vunipola

2 Jamie George

3 Alec Clarey

4 Maro Itoje

5 Hugh Tizard

6 Juan Martin Gonzalez

7 Andy Christie

8 Billy Vunipola

9 Ivan Van Zyl

10 Owen Farrell (C)

11 Sean Maitland

12 Nick Tompkins

13 Elliot Daly

14 Alex Lewington

15 Alex Goode

Replacements:

16 Theo Dan

17 Tom West

18 Christian Judge

19 Theo McFarland

20 Toby Knight

21 Aled Davies

22 Olly Hartley

23 Lucio Cinti

Players Unavailable:

Eroni Mawi, Alex Lozowski, Ben Earl, Callum Hunter-Hill, Josh Hallett, Marco Riccioni, Nick Isiekwe, Ollie Hoskins, Ralph Adams-Hale, Rotimi Segun, Tom Willis, Tom Woolstencroft.

Buchananr1

MATCH REACTION | Camilla Buchanan (NSL Rd 1)

Head Coach Camilla Buchanan was left frustrated, as her side kicked off the 2024 season with a breath-taking draw against Cardiff Dragons. In a nailbiting match, Mavericks weren’t able to convert a half-time lead into a victory and Buchanan admitted that a slow start had played a part in her side not securing the win. […]

18.02.24
In association with
Shawbrook Shawbrook
R1 Match Rep

MATCH REPORT | Cardiff Dragons 48-48 Saracens Mavericks (NSL Rd 1)

Saracens Mavericks opened their season with a thrilling draw against Cardiff Dragons at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, as both teams fought hard to the final whistle. The Netball Super League 2024 kicked off today with the Season Opener in Nottingham, and it did not disappoint. After eight teams had already taken to court, it was […]

17.02.24
In association with
Shawbrook Shawbrook
Injury Update

Injury Update | Saracens Mavericks

Saracens Mavericks can today provide the following injury update, heading into the Season Opener against Cardiff Dragons. Goal Shooter Ine-Mari Venter is progressing well after a minor procedure in the off-season. She is expected to return to the fold shortly. Goal Keeper Peace Akinyemi has suffered a knee injury, which has ruled her out of […]

17.02.24
In association with
Shawbrook Shawbrook

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