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Kruis out as Saracens name their team to face Scarlets

Schalk Burger comes in to start ahead of Jamie George

Mark McCall makes three changes to the team who defeated Toulon last weekend with Jamie George and Jackson Wray reverting to the bench and Schalk Brits and Michael Rhodes coming into the starting XV.

George Kruis has undergone minor surgery on his ankle and is expected to return to action in a number of weeks.

McCall, Saracens Director of Rugby, said: “After consultation with George and England we are in all in agreement that it’s in the best interest of the player to undergo this minor procedure now with the majority of the season still ahead of us. George is on the road to recovery and we look forward to his return to action sooner rather than later.”

Saracens are forced into one change, with George Kruis sidelined Jim Hamilton comes into the side at lock forward to partner Maro Itoje.

In the front-row, Mako Vunipola lines up at loosehead prop with Schalk Brits named at hooker and Juan Figallo packing down at tighthead.

Jim Hamilton and Maro Itoje are the starting locks, with Michael Rhodes (blindside flanker), Schalk Burger (openside flanker) and Billy Vunipola (No8) the loose forward trio.

Saracens name an unchanged backline to the one that took to the field in Toulon, with Richard Wigglesworth starting at scrum-half alongside Owen Farrell (fly-half) in the halves.

At centre Brad Barritt skippers the side alongside Marcelo Bosch whilst Sean Maitland (right wing), Chris Wyles (left wing) and Alex Goode (full-back) are named in the Sarries back three.

Speaking ahead of the game, McCall: “Under Wayne Pivac the Scarlets have made some huge strides as a team. They have recruited extremely well in the summer, bringing in some star names to add to an already competitive group, and they have a backline that will threaten any side in the competition.

“They have proved that this season in the Pro 12 and their win last weekend against Sale Sharks they are a dangerous side, so we know that Saturday will be a tough game for us.”

Saracens team to play Scarlets

15 Alex Goode (214)
14 Sean Maitland (4)
13 Marcelo Bosch (74)
12 Brad Barritt (c) (178)
11 Chris Wyles (213)
10 Owen Farrell (136)
9 Richard Wigglesworth (162)
1 Mako Vunipola (107)
2 Schalk Brits (177)
3 Juan Figallo (41)
4 Maro Itoje (59)
5 Jim Hamilton (55)
6 Michael Rhodes (34)
7 Schalk Burger (6)
8 Billy Vunipola (67)

Replacements
16 Jamie George (156)
17 Richard Barrington (88)
18 Petrus Du Plessis (138)
19 Kelly Brown (133)
20 Jackson Wray (150)
21 Ben Spencer (79)
22 Alex Lozowski (7)
23 Mike Ellery (28)

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