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Saracens name side to face Northampton Saints

Schalk Brits will make his150th Saracens appearance against Northampton Saints in round four of the Aviva Premiership away at Franklin’s Gardens, Saturday kick-off 15h15.

The Springbok hooker who was a member of South Africa’s Rugby World Cup squad is named alongside Mako Vunipola (loosehead prop) and Petrus Du Plessis (tighthead prop) in the Saracens front row.

Alistair Hargreaves captains the side and he is joined by George Kruis at lock. In the back row Maro Itoje will start at blindside flanker alongside Jacques Burger and Billy Vunipola. Vunipola will be making his first appearance of the 2015/16 season after recovering from a knee injury sustained in England’s World Cup campaign.

Richard Wigglesworth and Owen Farrell link up in the halves whilst at centre Brad Barritt starts in the number 12 jersey alongside Duncan Taylor.

In the back three, USA skipper Chris Wyles comes into the side to start on the left wing and will link up with Chris Ashton (right wing) and Alex Goode (full-back).

On the bench, Argentine World Cup pair Juan Figallo and Marcelo Bosch are named as replacements, with the all-time Premiership record point’s scorer Charlie Hodgson also included in the matchday 23.

Director of rugby, Mark McCall: "Of course we are pleased to be undefeated after three matches, but we do judge ourselves on our performance levels. Against London Irish there were aspects which were okay, but there were aspects we could improve on. We have a pretty big game now against Saints, our squad is pretty healthy at the moment and we need to try and rotate in a sensible fashion."

Captain, Alistair Hargreaves: "Saints’ track record speaks for itself. We are under no illusions that Saturday will be incredibly hard to go there and get points. Every time we take the field against them these games are always very physical, we know we’re in for a battle this weekend."

Saracens team to face Northampton Saints:

15 Alex Goode (187)
14 Chris Ashton (80)
13 Duncan Taylor (71)
12 Brad Barritt (147)
11 Chris Wyles (181)
10 Owen Farrell (116)
9 Richard Wigglesworth (131)

1 Mako Vunipola (80)
2 Schalk Brits (149)
3 Petrus Du Plessis (104)
4 George Kruis (105)
5 Alistair Hargreaves © (70)
6 Maro Itoje (31)
7 Jacques Burger (102)
8 Billy Vunipola (42)

Replacements

16 Jamie George (133)
17 Richard Barrington (58)
18 Juan Figallo (14)
19 Michael Rhodes (2)
20 Kelly Brown (114)
21 Ben Spencer (59)
22 Charlie Hodgson (108)
23 Marcelo Bosch (44)

Numbers denote Saracens appearances

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