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Heineken Cup Pool 3: Toulouse v Saracens match preview

By Sam Drury - Follow on Twitter   Last updated: 12th January 2014  

Census Johnston passing

Census Johnston: Returns at tighthead for the hosts


Chris Wyles: Comes into the Saracens XV for their clash with Toulouse

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Saracens travel to Toulouse for Sunday's Heineken Cup clash knowing anything less than a win puts them at risk of being eliminated from the competition.

The Aviva Premiership leaders are level on points with the French side at the top of Pool 3 going into the match but with Toulouse heavy favourites for their final pool match with Zebre next week, Sarries must win or be left contemplating a possible early exit.

October's encounter between the sides at Wembley saw Toulouse edge a tight encounter 17-16 and revenge won't be easy to exact as Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall acknowledges.

"Toulouse beat us in London, so we are behind the black ball a little bit, but we go into the game in good spirits, in good form as well," he said.

"But we have got to get a lot of things right when we go over there to make sure we win."


Toulouse have made three changes to the side that beat Clermont in the Top 14 last week, all coming in the pack as Clement Poitrenaud keeps his place in midfield with Gael Fickou one of only two backs the bench.

Pumas lock Patricio Albacete comes into the second row ahead of French international Romain Millo-Chluski, who takes a places amongst the replacements.

In the front row, Census Johnston returns at tighthead, Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle starts ahead of Christopher Tolofua while Schalk Ferriera is preferred to countryman Gurthro Steenkamp at loosehead.

Meanwhile, Chris Wyles replaces Marcelo Bosch at centre in Saracens' only change to side that beat Gloucester last weekend - the Argentine international misses out with a slight knock.

On the bench, loosehead prop Richard Barrington comes into the squad to replace Rhys Gill, whilst George Kruis , Ernst Joubert and Duncan Taylor are also included.

Toulouse: 15 Médard, 14 Huget, 13 David, 12 Poitrenaud, 11 Gear, 10 Doussain, 9 Vermaak; 1 Ferriera, 2 Ralepelle, 3 Johnston, 4 Maestri, 5 Albacete, 6 Nyanga, 7 Dusautoir (c), 8 Picamoles.

Replacements: 16 Tolofua, 17 Steenkamp, 18 Montes, 19 Millo-Chluski, 20 Joe Tekori, 21 Camara, 22 Bézy, 23 Fickou.

Saracens:15 Goode, 14 Ashton, 13 Wyles, 12 Barritt, 11 Strettle, 10 Farrell, 9 de Kock; 1 M Vunipola, 2 Brits, 3 Johnston, 4 Borthwick (c), 5 Hargreaves, 6 Wray, 7 Brown, 8 B Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 George, 17 Barrington, 18 Stevens, 19 Kruis, 20 Joubert, 21 Wigglesworth, 22 Hodgson, 23 Taylor.

Watch Toulouse v Saracens on Sky Sports HD2 from 15.00 on Sunday

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