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Saracens name side for Derby Day

Ben Spencer

Saracens have named their side to face Harlequins in round 19 of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick-off 16h30), as Derby Day returns to Wembley Stadium.

Mark McCall make four changes to the starting XV that defeated Glasgow Warriors in the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final with Duncan Taylor, Ben Spencer, Schalk Brits and Vincent Koch all coming into the starting line-up.

Up front, Vincent Koch starts at tighthead prop in place of Juan Figallo, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a foot injury. Koch is joined by Schalk Brits in the front-row with the fleet-footed hooker rotating with Jamie George who takes his place on the bench – Mako Vunipola continues at loosehead prop.

At lock, Maro Itoje starts alongside Jim Hamilton whilst in the back-row Mark McCall names an unchanged loose-forward trio with Michael Rhodes (blindside flanker), Jackson Wray (openside flanker) and Billy Vunipola (No8) all starting.

At half-back, Ben Spencer returns to the side at scrumhalf, with Richard Wigglesworth named on the bench. Spencer, who has recovered from a leg injury that has sidelined him for two-weeks will partner Owen Farrell who starts at fly-half.

At centre Brad Barritt captains the side alongside Duncan Taylor who comes in for Marcelo Bosch who is rested for the game. In the back-three, Chris Ashton will be looking to add to his five try tally under the arch at Wembley, he is named alongside Sean Maitland and Alex Goode.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game, director of rugby Mark McCall said: “Harlequins arrive at Wembley on the back of a very strong performance against Newcastle Falcons. They are a good side, with some very dangerous players and they will provide us with a stern challenge on Saturday afternoon.

“Since we first faced Northampton Saints back in 2009 at the National Stadium we have enjoyed some fantastic memories at Wembley. The players always look forward to running out in front of a bumper crowd at this magnificent venue and it’s a real privilege for all of the team to have the opportunity to play there once again.”

Saracens team to face Harlequins

15 Alex Goode (224)
14 Chris Ashton (112)
13 Duncan Taylor (98)
12 Brad Barritt (c) (192)
11 Sean Maitland (17)
10 Owen Farrell (147)
9 Ben Spencer (95)

1 Mako Vunipola (115)
2 Schalk Brits (195)
3 Vincent Koch (9)
4 Maro Itoje (70)
5 Jim Hamilton (70)
6 Michael Rhodes (52)
7 Jackson Wray (167)
8 Billy Vunipola (72)

Replacements

16 Jamie George (167)
17 Titi Lamositele (39)
18 Petrus Du Plessis (152)
19 Mark Flanagan (9)
20 Joel Conlon (11)
21 Richard Wigglesworth (181)
22 Alex Lozowski (25)
23 Nick Tompkins (55)

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