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It's all change for Saracens for clash with record-setting Lawes

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Saracens have named an entirely changed starting XV for their Gallagher Premiership semi-final versus Northampton, restoring all their big names following last weekend’s second-string crash at Bath in the final outing of the regular season.

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A half-dozen of the starters at The Rec – Eroni Mawi, Christian Judge, Callum Hunter-Hill, Toby Knight, Ruben de Haas and Elliot Daly – have been named on the bench for the semi-final fixture at the StoneX.

Northampton, who haven’t had a match since their April 21 win at Newcastle, have made three changes with James Ramm in for Tom Collins on the right wing, Tom Cruse is at hooker for Sam Matavesi and Trevor Davison at tighthead for Paul Hill.

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Courtney Lawes brings up a milestone in the back row for the Saints as he makes his 165th start in the Premiership, taking him past Stephen Myler (164) to a club-record tally of league starts.

With only one of the last 14 Premiership semi-finals being won by the away side on the day, and with Saracens unbeaten in their last 15 home matches in the league, Northampton know they have to tear up the form guide in north London.

Saracens skipper Owen Farell said: “We are excited about it. We are against a good team but now it’s up to us to make the most of it. We want to be at our best but it’s not about what has happened in the past, it’s all about how you perform on the day.

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“When we set our goals at the start of the season, we wanted to ensure we were playing our best rugby when the knockouts came around – so it is a huge day for all of us.”

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SARACENS: 15. Alex Goode; 14. Max Malins, 13. Alex Lozowski, 12. Nick Tompkins, 11. Sean Maitland; 10. Owen Farrell (capt), 9. Ivan Van Zyl; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Jamie George, 3. Marco Riccioni, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Hugh Tizard, 6. Nick Isiekwe, 7. Ben Earl, 8. Jackson Wray. Reps: 16. Theo Dan, 17. Eroni Mawi, 18. Christian Judge, 19. Callum Hunter-Hill, 20. Toby Knight, 21. Ruben de Haas, 22. Duncan Taylor, 23. Elliot Daly.

NORTHAMPTON: 15. George Furbank; 14. James Ramm, 13. Fraser Dingwall, 12. Rory Hutchinson, 11. Tommy Freeman; 10. Fin Smith, 9. Alex Mitchell; 1. Alex Waller, 2. Tom Cruse, 3. Trevor Davison, 4. David Ribbans, 5. Alex Moon, 6. Courtney Lawes, 7. Lewis Ludlam (capt), 8. Juarno Augustus. Reps: 16. Robbie Smith, 17. Ethan Waller, 18. Paul Hill, 19. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 20. Angus Scott-Young, 21. Sam Graham, 22. Tom James, 23. Tom Collins.

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