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Maro Itoje returns to Saracens line up for visit of Bath

By Ian Cameron
Maro Itoje /Getty

England lock Maro Itoje is set to return to Saracens’ starting XV as they host floundering Gallagher Premiership rivals Bath at the StoneX.

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It will be Itoje’s first game for Saracens since their mid-September over London rivals Harlequins and will be joined by fellow returnee Alex Goode.

Itoje partners Sarries newbie Hugh Tizard in the second-row, who is also back in the side after being rested last week. The men on black and red are yet to be beaten this season, having strung four consecutive victories together since the campaign began last month.

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The side includes Owen Farrell, Billy Vunipola, Elliott Daly and Bristol-bound Max Malins.

Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made a total of four changes to the starting line-up after a one-sided victory over Newcastle Falcons.

Outside the halfback partnership of Ivan van Zyl and Farrell are the midfield pairing of Nick Tompkins and Alex Lozowski.

Eroni Mawi starts at loosehead in place of the freshly banned Mako Vunipola. Kapeli Pifeleti and Marco Riccioni make up the frontrow.

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“Bath will be a tough test. Everyone has been talking about our attack but it’s important we get the fundamental parts of our game right and we just want to get better.

The game against Newcastle, particularly in the first half, was a step in the right direction both sides of the ball. If we can gradually get better week in week out, we’ll be in a decent position.”

Andy Christie, Ben Earl and Alex Lewington have been named on a strong bench.

SARACENS TEAM FOR BATH:
1 Eroni Mawi
2 Kapeli Pifeleti
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Maro Itoje
5 Hugh Tizard
6 Theo McFarland
7 Jackson Wray
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Elliot Daly
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Alex Lozowski
14 Max Malins
15 Alex Goode

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REPLACEMENTS:
16 Theo Dan
17 James Flynn
18 Christian Judge
19 Andy Christie
20 Ben Earl
21 Ruben de Haas
22 Manu Vunipola
23 Alex Lewington

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