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Lozowski, Earl and Vunipola named in Saracens team for Prem opener

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Sylvain Thomas/AFP via Getty Image

Saracens have named a team rich in players returning from loan spells as they take on the Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate in their Gallagher Premiership curtain-raiser.

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The team includes the likes of Alex Lozowski, Ben Earl, Nick Tompkins and Nick Isiekwe who went on loan deals last term while their teammates slogged it in the RFU Championship.

It will be Saracens first Premiership outing in nearly a year and half since they were automatically relegated in 2019 for multiple breaches of salary caps regulations.

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Lozowski, who spent last season in Montpellier, is eager to hit the ground running.

“We’ve had a good pre-season which is now behind us so we’re fully focused on getting off to a good start and hitting the ground running.

“Bristol have evolved their game over the last few years and are very organised so we need to be ready for a great challenge.”

Ralph Adams-Hale starts at loosehead alongside Tom Woolstencroft and Marco Riccioni in the front-row, who makes his Premiership debut after the summer move from Benetton.

Isiekwe and Tim Swinson will operate in the second-row, whilst Jackson Wray captains the team from blindside next to Ben Earl and Billy Vunipola at the base of the scrum.

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Aled Davies gets the nod at scrum-half with Lozowski his half-back partner at Ashton Gate. Tompkins and Dom Morris continue their midfield partnership which functioned well in pre-season, and in the back-three there is plenty of pace in the form of Rotimi Segun, Alex Lewington and Elliott Obatoyinbo.

On the bench there are spots for Richard Barrington, as well as scrumhalf Joe Simpson who arrived this week on a loan deal from Gloucester.

SARACENS TEAM:
1 Ralph Adams-Hale
2 Tom Woolstencroft
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Nick Isiekwe
5 Tim Swinson
6 Jackson Wray (c)
7 Ben Earl
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Aled Davies
10 Alex Lozowski
11 Rotimi Segun
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Dom Morris
14 Alex Lewington
15 Elliott Obatoyinbo

REPLACEMENTS:
16 Kapeli Pifeleti
17 Richard Barrington
18 Alec Clarey
19 Callum Hunter-Hill
20 Sean Reffell
21 Joe Simpson
22 Manu Vunipola
23 Ben Harris

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B.J. Spratt 4 hours ago
Jono Gibbes' reaction to France U20s putting 55 points on New Zealand

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