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Saracens v Exeter: Teams

At Vicarage Road, Saturday May 5, kick-off 2pm

Last updated: 4th May 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Rob Baxter Gloucester v Exeter 2012

Rob Baxter: Eager for his Exeter team to finish the season on a high

Mark McCall Saracens

Mark McCall: Wants Saracens to retain their momentum against Exeter

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Saracens will be hoping victory over Exeter Chiefs at Vicarage Road will prove enough to secure a home tie in the Aviva Premiership play-offs.

Sarries begin the day two points behind second-placed Leicester Tigers and three behind league leaders Harlequins.

The Chiefs realistically require a victory to give themselves any chance of making the semi-finals for the first time in their history.

Brad Barritt returns to the Sarries midfield after missing the victory at lowly Newcastle Falcons.

Carlos Nieto also comes into the side in the front row, while on the bench John Smit and Joe Maddock are back after injury.

"Our efforts so far this season have already earned us a place in the semi-finals of the competition," said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

"Who we play and where will become clear by the final whistle on Saturday. The challenge for us is to continue to build momentum as we move into knockout rugby.

"Exeter are a very physical side with powerful ball carriers and, under the guidance of Rob Baxter, have enjoyed a very good campaign in the Premiership and we know it will be a very hard game."

Duo missing for Exeter

Injuries to Kiwi pair Hoani Tui and Jason Shoemark mean they are ruled out of action for Exeter, so Craig Mitchell and Sireli Naqelevuki are handed starting roles at prop and centre respectively.

Gonzalo Camacho's three-week suspension means Phil Dollman is switched from full-back to the wing and Luke Arscott returns in the number 15 jersey.

The Chiefs may have lost the ability to control their own destiny in terms of qualification for the play-offs, but head coach Rob Baxter says his team will be hell bent on finishing their campaign on a high note.

"There's something very positive about being involved in games that matter at this stage of the season at the right end of the table," said Baxter.

"It's a massive positive sign of just how well the players have performed all season to be in a position with something to fight for.

"It might be a relatively slim chance with Worcester having to go to Northampton, but there is still something there, something tangible."

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Justin Melck, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 John Smit, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 George Kruis, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Joe Maddock

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Phil Dollman, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Bryan Rennie, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Kevin Barrett, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (capt), 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Brett Sturgess, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Ben White, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Nic Sestaret

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14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
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19:45Gloucester vs Harlequins
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14:00Sale vs London Irish
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Sunday 16th November
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20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester
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15:00Exeter vs Wasps
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13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester
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19:45Bath vs Harlequins

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