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Farrell included as Saracens make 11 changes for a must-win game

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

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Mark McCall has made eleven changes – including the recall of Owen Farrell – to his Saracens XV for Friday’s must-win Challenge Cup pool tie at Brive. The Londoners won away last weekend at Sale in the Gallagher Premiership but only four of the team that started at the AJ Bell have been chosen to start again over in France.

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Elliot Daly is the only repeat pick in the backline, switching from full-back to midfield to accommodate the naming of Alex Goode at No15. Daly will partner up at centre with Duncan Taylor, who is making his 150th appearance for Saracens since joining in 2011.

“I’m hugely honoured and proud to be making my 150th appearance for this club,” said Taylor to the Saracens website. “We have made some incredible memories over the last decade and I love being part of this group. Thanks to everyone at the club for their support along the way and let’s hope there are plenty more memories to come.”

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The Saracens lineup also signals the return to fitness once more of England skipper Farrell. He made his long-awaited return from a pair of ankle operations when he skippered Saracens to their March 26 league win over Bristol at Tottenham. However, he took a head knock in that first outing since November and he sat out last week’s trip to Manchester. 

Meanwhile, the pack chosen for the Stade Amedee-Domenech assignment sees loosehead Eroni Mawi, lock Nick Isiekwe and No8 Billy Vunipola chosen to start again after the win over Sale. England hooker Jamie George drops to the bench while talisman Maro Itoje, who was at blindside last week, is rested along with Springboks prop Vincent Koch.

SARACENS: 15. Alex Goode; 14. Rotimi Segun, 13. Elliot Daly, 12. Duncan Taylor, 11. Alex Lewington; 10. Owen Farrell (capt), 9. Ivan van Zyl; 1. Eroni Mawi, 2. Tom Woolstencroft, 3. Alec Clarey, 4. Nick Isiekwe, 5. Theo McFarland, 6. Andy Christie, 7. Jackson Wray, 8. Billy Vunipola. Reps: 16. Jamie George, 17. Richard Barrington, 18. Sam Wainwright, 19. Callum Hunter-Hill, 20. Ben Earl, 21. Ruben de Haas, 22. Dom Morris, 23. Ben Harris.

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