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Saracens v London Irish: Teams
At Twickenham, Saturday September 1, kick-off 4.30pm
England winger Chris Ashton will make his Saracens debut in the London Double Header against London Irish at Twickenham.
Ashton, who made the summer switch from Northampton, is the only new face in the line-up after Alistair Hargreaves picked up an injury in the build-up to the match.
Owen Farrell also suffered a knock in training, so Charlie Hodgson starts at fly-half with Joel Tomkins teaming up with Brad Barritt in the centres.
Mako Vunipola and Petrus du Plessis join Schalk Brits in the front-row, while there is a welcome return to action for Kelly Brown following a lengthy spell out.
"It promises to be an exciting season in the Aviva Premiership and looking around the league, all clubs have strengthened going into the new campaign with quality players joining from all across the globe - proving that this competition is one of the best in the world," said director of rugby Mark McCall.
"The players have worked hard over the summer months in an excellent pre-season that has allowed us to spend time together on and off the field, creating an even stronger bond among the group.
"The objective of the club is to be consistently successful and we are aware that in order for that to be achieved, there will be no substitute for hard work over the coming months - starting at Twickenham on Saturday.
"London Irish have made a number of changes on and off the field. In Brian Smith they have an experienced director of rugby and with the likes of Tomas O'Leary and Shane Geraghty joining their squad, they have also added quality on the pitch which should make for an exciting game."
New Zealand lock Bryn Evans has been handed the London Irish captaincy as Declan Danaher starts the match on the bench.
Evans will partner new signing George Skivington in the second row, with Scott Lawson and Tomas O'Leary also making their debuts.
There is also a start for Jon Fisher, who returns to the club after a season at Bedford, while fellow summer arrivals Halani Aulika, Cai Griffiths and Shane Geraghty named on the bench.
"We've got a fantastic squad on board for the 2012/13 season and we are looking forward to the season ahead," said Smith.
"This squad is very ambitious and we aim to emulate the deeds of our courageous sevens team that won the JP Morgan sevens title over the summer."
Saracens:15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Carlos Nieto, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 James Short.
London Irish:15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 11 Marland Yarde 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Jon Fisher 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Bryn Evans (c), 4 George Skivington, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Halani Aulika, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Declan Danaher, 21 Alex Gray, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Jack Moates.
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|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com