Saracens v Munster - Heineken Cup match preview

Last updated: 16th December 2012  

Munster s New Zealander centre Casey Laulala

Casey Laulala: Comes into the centres as the only change for Munster

 Owen Farrell Brad Barritt - Saracens Heineken Cup

Owen Farrell (L): Will play at fly-half instead of in the centres

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Video

Gallery

Article/Blog

Teams

Also see

Saracens have opted to play Owen Farrell at fly-half for their crunch Heineken Cup clash with Munster at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

After Munster claimed a 15-9 win in the opening clash of the double-header at Thomond Park last time out, both teams are tied on 10 points at the top of Pool One.

Sarries director of rugby Mark McCall has plumped for Farrell at No 10 with Charlie Hodgson dropping to the bench and Joel Tomkins filling the vacated outside centre spot.

There is also a change on the left wing as David Strettle comes into the starting line-up in place of Chris Wyles.

Richard Wigglesworth comes in at scrum-half to replace Neil de Kock while there is a lone change in the pack as George Kruis comes in at flanker, with Kelly Brown switching to No 8.

Munster make just one change for the return game with Casey Laulala into the side at outside centre in place of the injured Keith Earls.

Earls trained in Limerick on Tuesday but later complained of groin trouble and so withdraws with Laulala resuming the centre partnership he enjoyed with James Downey for the earlier pool games.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Kelly Brown, 7 Will Fraser, 6 George Kruis, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.

Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Ernst Joubert, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Chris Wyles.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett (capt), 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Peter O'Mahony, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 David Kilcoyne.

Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Peter Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Luk O'Dea.

What they said...

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall

"It's not often in sport that you get a chance to rectify things that may have gone wrong the week before, but that's the beauty of these rounds three and four matches against the same opposition and it represents a great opportunity for the squad to put in the kind of performance we know we can deliver.

"We are level on match points and both teams have the chance to take control of the group going into the final two rounds of matches.

"But we have to make sure that our fundamentals and foundations are excellent across the pitch if we are to get the result that we want."

Don't miss any live and exclusive rugby union coverage this festive season. Click here to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar

SkyBet
Click here for more betting