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Aviva Premiership match preview: Saracens v Harlequins

Last updated: 24th March 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Owen Farrell England v Wales 2013

Owen Farrell moves straight back into the Saracens side after a successful Six Nations campaign

Harlequins Team celebrate winning the LV Cup Final during the LV Cup Final

Harlequins return to league action after picking up the LV Cup last weekend

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Saracens enter their top-of-the-table clash with Harlequins on the back of three successive Aviva Premiership victories.

Defending champions Quins travel to the Allianz Park on Sunday looking to wipe out the four-point lead Saracens hold at the head of the table.

The hosts have scored twelve tries in their last three outings which have seen them leapfrog Harlequins, who lost to Exeter Chiefs in their last league encounter.

Harlequins do however enter the clash with momentum after lifting the LV Cup last weekend with victory against Sale Sharks, despite their England contingent being unavailable.

The timing of the clash sees both sides ring the changes as a number of key players return from international duty following the culmination of the Six Nations last weekend.

Saracens welcome back Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola from England duty, while Scotland captain Kelly Brown is also named in the starting line-up.

Returning internationals

Farrell will start at fly-half which demotes Charlie Hodgson to the bench alongside John Smit, Neil de Kock and Chris Wyles.

Mike Brown, Danny Care, Joe Marler and captain Chris Robshaw all return to the Harlequins starting XV to face the league leaders.

Ugo Monye and Sam Smith begin on the wings for Harlequins with Matt Hopper and Jordan Turner-Hall partnered in the centres.

Joe Gray comes into the side at hooker as Charlie Matthews gets the nod in the second row alongside George Robson.

John Kingston's bench consists of eight players who all featured in the LV Cup final winning side last weekend.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 George Kruis, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Chris Wyles

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Ugo Monye, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (capt), 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 George Lowe

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
Aviva Premiership
Friday 14th November
Aviva Premiership
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
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle vs Sale
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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