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- Aviva Premiership
- 7th Oct 2012
- KO 14:15
- Ground: Kassam Stadium
- Att: 4,685
London Welsh v Saracens - Aviva Premiership match preview
Former Wales international centre Gavin Henson will make his first Aviva Premiership start for London Welsh against Saracens at the Kassam Stadium today.
Henson, who replaces Gordon Ross at No 10, is one of six changes made by head coach Lyn Jones to the starting line-up which went down 31-25 to Gloucester last Sunday.
Hooker Dan George and centre James Lewis replace Neil Briggs and Sonny Parker, who both have injuries.
Canadian international Phil Mackenzie comes in on the right wing, with Tom Arscott reverting to full-back and Seb Jewell named on the bench.
Mike Denbee returns to the side following the injury he sustained against Exeter Chiefs and replaces Michael Hills at openside flanker.
Saracens have recalled Charlie Hodgson, David Strettle and James Short.
With Alex Goode, Brad Barritt and Chris Ashton among those rested on rotation, Strettle will make his first start of the season and Owen Farrell will switch to inside centre with Hodgson named at fly-half.
In the forwards, John Smit starts at hooker with second-row George Kruis and flanker Andy Saull both getting their first runs of the season.
London Welsh: 15 T Arscott, 14 P MacKenzie, 13 J Lewis, 12 H Tonga'uiha, 11 N Scott, 10 G Henson, 9 T Keats, 8 E Jackson, 7 M Denbee, 6 D Browne, 5 M Corker, 4 J Mills (capt), 3 P Ion, 2 D George, 1 F Montanella.
Replacements: 16 G Bateman, 17 T Bristow, 18 A Joly, 19 K Kulemin, A To'oala, 21 N Runciman, 22 R Davis, 23 S Jewell.
Saracens: 15 C Wyles, 14 D Strettle, 13 J Tomkins, 12 O Farrell, 11 J Short, 10 C Hodgson, 9 R Wigglesworth, 8 J Wray, 7 A Saull, 6 W Fraser, 5 G Kruis, 4 S Borthwick (c), 3 M Stevens, 2 J Smit, 1 R Gill.
Replacements: 16 J George, 17 M Vunipola, 18 C Nieto, 19 M Botha, 20 N Fenton-Wells, 21 N De Kock, 22 K Ratuvou, 23 D Taylor.
What they said...
Exiles new boy Gavin Henson
"I am really looking forward to making my first start for London Welsh in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.
"Having been given the opportunity by Lyn Jones and the club to play in the Premiership, it was both disappointing and frustrating to pick up an injury against Scarlets in pre-season.
"However, the boys have done really well in the first five games and now I just cannot wait to start playing my part with the rest of the team. I am also very excited about playing at the Kassam in front of the London Welsh supporters for the first time.
"Saracens are an extremely good side, we know that, but this is a great opportunity both for me and for London Welsh to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the Aviva Premiership."
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 20th September|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
|Saturday 11th October|
|15:00||Saracens vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 18th October|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|15:15||Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne|
|Friday 24th October|
|19:45||Munster vs Saracens|
|Saturday 1st November|
|15:00||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 8th November|
|15:00||Ospreys vs Saracens|
|Saturday 15th November|
|15:00||Leicester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|15:00||Saracens vs Northampton|
|Saturday 29th November|
|15:00||Exeter vs Saracens|
|Saturday 6th December|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|TBC||Sale vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com