Flats selects his XV from the semi-finals
After two epic Gallagher Premiership Rugby semi-finals, it will surprise nobody to see David Flatman’s XV awash with players from the two finalists.
The former front rower names just one player from outside Saracens and Exeter Chiefs, who will line up at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon in a repeat of last year’s final.
On the showings in Flats’ XV, he would appear tip the advantage slightly to Rob Baxter’s men after their 42-12 win against Northampton Saints at Sandy Park – with nine of their men in the line-up.
Saracens make up five of the rest of the team after their 44-19 triumph against Gloucester Rugby, with the Cherry & White’s loosehead prop Josh Hohneck the only man to break the monopoly between the finalists.
He is joined in the front row by Exeter’s Jack Yeandle and Harry Williams, with the latter getting the opening score at the game in Devon.
Lock Will Skelton showed his continued strong form for Saracens as he was an integral part of their triumph, while he is joined by another Chiefs try-scorer in Dave Dennis.
It’s a Chiefs-heavy back row with Dave Ewers and Don Armand named either side of the Men in Black’s most reliable carrier – Billy Vunipola – at No.8.
This weekend’s final could well be decided at the three-quarters and Flats gives the edge to Saracens after the semi-finals, as he names Ben Spencer and Owen Farrell at scrum-half and fly-half respectively.
Ollie Devoto was a rock in the Exeter midfield and gets the nod in the No.12 shirt and Nick Tompkins stole the show in the second half for Saracens, his hat-trick undoubtedly making him the first name on this teamsheet.
And the squad finishes with an all-Chiefs back three with Alex Cuthbert, powerful and heavily involved as a carrier against Northampton, and Tom O’Flaherty – who scored the pick of the tries at Sandy Park – on the wings either side of Jack Nowell at full-back.
15. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
14. Tom O’Flaherty (Exeter Chiefs)
13. Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
12. Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs)
11. Alex Cuthbert (Exeter Chiefs)
10. Owen Farrell (Saracens)
9. Ben Spencer (Saracens)
1. Josh Hohneck (Gloucester)
2. Jack Yeandle (Exeter Chiefs)
3. Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Dave Dennis (Exeter Chiefs)
5. Will Skelton (Saracens)
6. Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs)
7. Don Armand (Exeter Chiefs)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens)