Hooker Jamie George is the only member of the six-strong England contingent from Saracens who will be involved in this weekend’s Greene King IPA Championship game away to Richmond on Sunday. Much was made during the disappointing Guinness Six Nations about the general lack of form of the Saracens players.

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Relegated from the Gallagher Premiership, they had no competitive club action over the winter in between England’s December Autumn Nations Cup final win over France and the February 6 Six Nations loss to Scotland. 

Billy Vunipola was the only one to tog out, featuring in a pre-season loss to Ealing, but England skipper Owen Farrell, loosehead Mako Vunipola, hooker George, second row Maro Itoje and full-back Elliot Daly were all inactive and the consensus was this affected them on duty with Eddie Jones. 

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Both George and Daly were dropped during the Six Nations while there was also criticism of the form shown by Farrell and the Vunipola brothers. Meanwhile, Itoje came under much scrutiny for his high penalty count.     

It all fed into a miserable campaign that ended with a hammering last weekend in Dublin by Ireland and only George is on deck for Saracens this weekend as the club, automatically relegated from the Premiership for repeated salary cap breaches, looks to pick up momentum following an opening day loss at Cornish Pirates and a home win versus Jersey.   

Farrell and Billy Vunipola both suffered head knocks at Aviva Stadium last weekend while Mako Vunipola was withdrawn at the interval following a troubled first-half showing. Scotland winger Sean Maitland is on the Saracens bench after he was ruled out of selection for Friday night’s Test re-fixture versus France due to a Premiership Rugby cap on the number of English-based players made available to Gregor Townsend.    

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SARACENS (vs Richmond, Sunday)
15 Will Hooley
14 Alex Lewington
13 Dom Morris
12 Duncan Taylor
11 Rotimi Segun
10 Manu Vunipola
9 Aled Davies
1 Richard Barrington
2 Jamie George
3 Vincent Koch
4 Callum Hunter-Hill
5 Tim Swinson
6 Mike Rhodes
7 Sean Reffell
8 Jackson Wray (capt)
Replacements
16 Kapeli Pifeleti
17 Ralph Adams-Hale
18 Alec Clarey
19 Joel Kpoku
20 Andy Christie
21 Alex Day
22 Harry Sloan
23 Sean Maitland

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