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Billy Vunipola the only England international picked by Saracens to face Ealing


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Billy Vunipola is the only England international participating in Saracens’ first match since their relegation from the Gallagher Premiership last season.


Vunipola starts Saturday’s Trailfinders Challenge Cup opener against Ealing at number eight but his colleagues from Eddie Jones’ squad, such as Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Jamie George, are missing from the 23.

Scotland centre Duncan Taylor is present in midfield, while Wales scrum-half Aled Davies and South Africa prop Vincent Koch are also involved.

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Referee JP Doyle joins Simon Zebo and Ryan Wilson on RugbyPass Offload
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Referee JP Doyle joins Simon Zebo and Ryan Wilson on RugbyPass Offload

The Trailfinders Challenge Cup, which is completed by Doncaster Knights, is a round-robin competition that will take place over six weeks and serves as a curtain raiser to the Green King IPA Championship.

Saturday’s clash in west London will be the weekend’s only game involving English clubs because of the two-week break created by the cancellation of the final rounds of European group action because of coronavirus safety fears.

Saracens were relegated from the Premiership as punishment for repeated salary cap breaches and launch their campaign for an immediate return to the top flight on March 6.


SARACENS (vs Ealing, Saturday) 
15 Elliott Obatoyinbo
14 Ben Harris
13 Dom Morris
12 Duncan Taylor
11 Rotimi Segun
10 Will Hooley
9 Aled Davies
1 Eroni Mawi
2 Tom Woolstencroft (capt)
3 Vincent Koch
4 Jon Kpoku
5 Ollie Stonham
6 Janco Venter
7 Andy Christie
8 Billy Vunipola
16 Kapeli Pifeleti
17 Sam Crean
18 Josh Ibuanokpe
19 Llewelyn Jones
20 Callum Hunter-Hill
21 Tom Whiteley
22 Harry Sloan
23 Charlie Watson


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