TOP BAR - Fixtures

Kruis back for Saracens clash away to Northampton Saints

Kruis

Saracens have named their team to face Northampton Saints at stadium:mk in round 20 of the Aviva Premiership, Sunday (kick-off 15h00).

Saracens welcome back lock forward George Kruis to the starting XV, with the England international making his first Premiership start for Saracens since the Men in Black’s Christmas Eve fixture against Newcastle Falcons.

Kruis will be partnered by England U20s lock-forward Nick Isiekwe in the heart of the Saracens engine room.

The academy second-rower will be making his Premiership debut after making four appearances in the Anglo-Welsh Cup earlier this season.

On a day of milestones, centre Duncan Taylor will run out for his 100th Saracens appearance. The Scotland centre, who joined Saracens from Bedford Blues in 2011, will be the eighth Saracen centurion in the matchday 23.

Jamie George will skipper the side from hooker, with Titi Lamositele coming in for Mako Vunipola at loosehead prop, with the England prop rested after he picked up a slight knock to his knee in Saracens’ 40-19 win over Harlequins. Vincent Koch continues at tighthead prop.

Kruis and Isiekwe start at lock with Jim Hamilton (back injury) and Maro Itoje (rested) both missing, whilst in the back-row there is a welcome to return to action for Schalk Burger, who takes his place at openside flanker. Joining Burger in the loose-forwards are Joel Conlon (blindside flanker) and Jackson Wray (No8) – Michael Rhodes and Billy Vunipola are both named as replacements.

In the halves, Ben Spencer continues at scrum-half with Richard Wigglewsorth rested, and he is partnered by Alex Lozowski at fly-half with Owen Farrell also rested for the trip to Milton Keynes.

Duncan Taylor starts at inside centre in the place of the rested Brad Barritt, with Marcelo Bosch returning to the fold at outside centre after missing Saracens win over Harlequins last weekend.

At full-back, Alex Goode continues with Sean Maitland (left-wing) and Nathan Earle (right-wing) joining him in the back three – Chris Ashton is named on the bench.

Saracens team to face Northampton Saints

15 Alex Goode (225)
14 Nathan Earle (17)
13 Marcelo Bosch (92)
12 Duncan Taylor (99)
11 Sean Maitland (18)
10 Alex Lozowski (26)
9 Ben Spencer (96)

1 Titi Lamositele (41)
2 Jamie George (c) (167)
3 Vincent Koch (10)
4 Nick Isiekwe (4)
5 George Kruis (131)
6 Joel Conlon (12)
7 Schalk Burger (20)
8 Jackson Wray (168)

Replacements

16 Schalk Brits (197)
17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer (8)
18 Petrus Du Plessis (153)
19 Michael Rhodes (53)
20 Billy Vunipola (73)
21 Henry Taylor (6)
22 Nick Tompkins (56)
23 Chris Ashton (113)

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