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Saracens

  • Wigglesworth,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson (7),
    Conversions: Hodgson,
28 - 23

Gloucester

  • Qera, Murphy,
    Penalty goals: Twelvetrees (3),
    Conversions: Twelvetrees (2),

Saracens v Gloucester: Aviva Premiership preview

Last updated: 2nd December 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees taking it up

Billy Twelvetrees: Will move to fly-half for Gloucester

Steve Borthwick try Saracens v Racing Metro Heineken Cup

Steve Borthwick: Saracens captain will make his 100th appearance for the club

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Saracens captain Steve Borthwick will make his 100th appearance for the club in Sunday's Aviva Premiership fixture against Gloucester at Vicarage Road.

A battle between second and third in the league, with both on 28 points, each side will be looking to dig deep for what could be a pivotal win.

Although Saracens have suffered back-to-back defeats in all competitions, they have only lost once in their last 17 Premiership fixtures at Vicarage Road.

Charlie Hodgson returns from injury to start the match at fly-half with Rhys Gill also back from a rib problem to start in the front row.

Chris Wyles starts at full-back following his spell away on international duty with the USA, and Neil de Kock is named in the team at scrum-half.

Schalk Brits and Kelly Brown are on a rest week after their involvement in the autumn internationals while Jackson Wray, Adam Powell, Justin Melck, Jacques Burger and Joe Maddock all miss out through injury.

Gloucester have also named a strong starting line-up, and with Freddie Burns away on England duty, Billy Twelvetrees will move to fly-half.

This will see Mike Tindall move from outside to inside centre and be partnered in the midfield by Tim Molenaar.

Martyn Thomas replaces Shane Monahan on the left wing as the only other change to the back-line that started against Sale Sharks last week.

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 David Strettle, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 James Short, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 George Kruis, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 John Smit, 1 Rhys Gill.

Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Alistair Hargreaves, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Kameli Ratuvou.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Tim Molenaar, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 Martyn Thomas, 10 Billy Twelvetrees, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Jim Hamilton (capt), 4 Will James, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Dan Murphy.

Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Shane Monahan.

What they said:

Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies

"I'm sure Saracens won't have been impressed with their performance, or their result, against Worcester last Friday and will pick it up against us this weekend.

"It's a difficult place to go and play, it's one of the smallest pitches in the league, and they know how to play that field.

"You have to be smart. You have to play a similar game to them in some ways. But you also have to be prepared to step up and take your game to them.

"They play good territory; they have a big chase and put a lot of pressure on to you. If you're not ready for it, then you'll get caught out."

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Aviva Premiership
Friday 3rd October
Aviva Premiership
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Friday 14th November
19:45Gloucester vs Harlequins
19:45Northampton vs Exeter
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
17:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
13:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:15Wasps vs London Welsh
Friday 21st November
19:45Harlequins vs Sale
20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester
Saturday 22nd November
15:00London Irish vs Bath
15:00Exeter vs Wasps
Sunday 23rd November
13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester
Friday 28th November
19:45Bath vs Harlequins

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Phil Edwards

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