Home team Away Team

Saracens

  • Strettle (3), Wyles (2), Brits, Ashton (2), Goode, Johnston, Kruis,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson,
    Conversions: Hodgson (3),
64 - 6

Connacht


  • Penalty goals: Parks (2),

Heineken Cup Pool 3: Saracens v Connacht match preview

Last updated: 18th January 2014  

charlie hodgson saracens

Charlie Hodgson: Will replace Owen Farrell at fly-half for Saracens

Connacht Dan Parks Rugby union Heineken Cup

Dan Parks: Has been recalled into Connacht's No 10 jersey

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Video

Gallery

Article/Blog

Reaction

Teams

Also see

Connacht boss Pat Lam has made four changes to his starting XV for his side's crucial Heineken Cup clash with Saracens on Saturday at Allianz Park.

Dan Parks has been selected in the number 10 jersey - the veteran fly-half is 27 points shy of reaching the milestone of 500 Heineken Cup points. Meanwhile, Gavin Duffy also returns to the back line this week, starting at full-back.

Up front the second-row partnership of Connacht's highest capped player Michael Swift and captain Craig Clarke returns this week to boost the pack.

There is also a reshuffle in the back row with John Muldoon moving to number eight in place of the injured Eoin McKeon; Andrew Brown slots in to blindside flanker while Jake Heenan remains on the openside.

"This is a huge game for Connacht, we all know that," added Lam. "Win and we qualify for a quarter-final in Europe. Big games require your big players to step up and lead the way, so it's great to be able to call on four of our most experienced players Gavin, Dan, Swifty and Craig this week.

"We have a lot of respect for what Saracens are achieving. They are well coached, well-resourced and top of the English premiership, with an excellent stadium. They have only lost once on this new 4G surface and they have racked up a high number of points against opposition teams. If we play as individuals, it will be a long day at the office tomorrow."

Hodgson gets nod

The Londoners have opted to replace Owen Farrell with Charlie Hodgson at fly-half, and he is partnered by Richard Wigglesworth at scrum-half.

Scotland international centre Duncan Taylor comes into the midfield as Chris Wyles is named among the replacements.

In the pack, Matt Stevens returns to the front row starting at tighthead prop, and in the second-row England Saxon lock forward George Kruis partners captain Steve Borthwick.

Saracens: 15 Goode, 14 Ashton, 13 Taylor, 12 Barritt, 11 Strettle, 10 Hodgson, 9 Wigglesworth; 1 M Vunipola, 2 Brits, 3 Stevens, 4 Borthwick (c), 5 Kruis, 6 B Vunipola, 7 Brown, 8 Joubert
Replacements: 16 George, 17 Barrington, 18 Johnston, 19 Hargreaves, 20 Wray, 21 De Kock, 22 Farrell, 23 Wyles

Connacht: 15 Duffy, 14 Carr, 13 Henshaw, 12 Griffin, 11 Healy, 10 Parks, 9 Marmion; 1 Wilkinson, 2 Henry, 3 White, 4 Swift, 5 Clarke (c), 6 Browne, 7 Heenan, 8 Muldoon
Replacements: 16 Harris-Wright, 17 Buckley, 18 Ah You, 19 Kearney, 20 Naoupu, 21 O'Donohoe, 22 Leader, 23 O'Halloran

Watch Saracens take on Connacht live on Sky Sports 2HD at 1.35pm

SkyBet
Click here for more betting

European Rugby Champions Cup Table

European Rugby Champions Cup Table - January 19 2014
Pos Team P Pts
4 Zebre 6 0
Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
13:00Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
15:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92
Saturday 6th December
TBCMunster vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCSale vs Saracens
TBCCastres vs Wasps
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
TBCUlster vs Scarlets

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com