TOP BAR - Fixtures

Saracens name team for season opener

Saracens have named their side to face Worcester Warriors in round one of the Aviva Premiership in Saturday’s London Double Header at Twickenham Stadium, kick-off 14h00.

It will be a day of personal milestones for Saracens players at Twickenham with wing Chris Ashton making his 100th appearance for the club, and hooker Jamie George his 150th for the Men in Black. There will also be three debutants on the day, with summer signings Schalk Burger, Alex Lozowski and Sean Maitland all named in the starting XV.

Hooker Jamie George will pack down alongside Mako Vunipola (loosehead prop) and Petrus Du Plessis (tighthead prop) in the front row. Maro Itoje and George Kruis partner each other at lock forward whilst new-face Schalk Burger will make his Saracens bow from openside flanker. Jackson Wray is named at blindside flanker whilst Billy Vunipola starts at No8.

In the halves, Richard Wigglesworth will wear the number nine jersey as he partners Alex Lozowski, with the summer signing from Wasps making his debut at fly-half.

In the backs, Brad Barritt skippers the side from inside centre where he is partnered by Marcelo Bosch in the Saracens midfield, with Sean Maitland taking his place on the left wing in his first competitive outing for his new club. Chris Ashton will bring up a century of appearances for the club on the right wing with Alex Goode named at full-back.

Speaking ahead of the game, director of rugby Mark McCall said: “Our players enjoy playing at Twickenham, this year we’re against Worcester again and they’ve recruited really well in the summer so it’s going to be a really tough fixture to start the season with.

“These first six games are generally quite important, a tough run of games but we do have our full squad available to us and there are other times during the year that’s not the case and we have to do without a fair chunk of our players for a period of time. While we’ve got our full squad we have to capitalise on that.”

On Chris Ashton’s and Jamie George’s personal milestones, McCall added: “Chris has played a huge role in helping us become a side that has consistently challenged for the top honours since his arrival four years ago. Not only has he been a top performer for us on the field he has made a significant contribution to the environment off the pitch with his hard-work and humility. In Jamie’s case, it’s another impressive landmark for a player who is reaping the rewards for his patience earlier in his career and his diligent and conscientious approach to his work. Both players deserve the big stage to celebrate such achievements.”

Saracens Team to face Worcester Warriors

15 Alex Goode 209

14 Chris Ashton 99

13 Marcelo Bosch 67

12 Brad Barritt (C) 171

11 Sean Maitland 0

10 Alex Lozowski 0

9 Richard Wigglesworth 155

 

1 Mako Vunipola 100

2 Jamie George 149

3 Petrus Du Plessis 131

4 Maro Itoje 52

5 George Kruis 124

6 Jackson Wray 143

7 Schalk Burger 0

8 Billy Vunipola 60

 

Replacements

16 Schalk Brits 171

17 Richard Barrington 82

18 Juan Figallo 34

19 Jim Hamilton 48

20 Michael Rhodes 27

21 Ben Spencer 72

22 Duncan Taylor 92

23 Mike Ellery 23

 

Tickets for the game will be on sale until 5pm at the Saracens ticket office and on the day at Twickenham Stadium.

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