Saracens have kept faith with the same team that eliminated Leinster from the Champions Cup last weekend for Saturday’s semi-final against a Racing XV showing two changes from their quarter-final win at Clermont.
The win by the Londoners in Ireland was viewed as a major upset as Leinster had just been crowned PRO14 champions and came into the European tie on the back of 25 straight wins, a streak that stretched all the way back to May 2019 when they were beaten by Saracens in the 2018/19 season European final.
With Owen Farrell suspended, Alex Goode ran the show from out-half last weekend, scoring a try and a plethora of kicks for a 19-point haul that was pivotal to the 25-17 Aviva Stadium success.
Goode will now run the team again in a Saracens XV where only Sean Maitland and Jackson Wray remain from the pool defeat at Racing last November. Tighthead Vincent Koch and semi-final replacements Callum Hunter-Hill and Manu Vunipola were also involved off the bench that day.
Back row Michael Rhodes, the man of the match in Dublin, had feared missing the semi-final after he was cited for an incident with Robbie Henshaw. However, he was cleared at a disciplinary hearing to play.
You'd need an XV of people to help Maro carry this wedge to the bank ?https://t.co/RtemlR17at
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 24, 2020
Racing, meanwhile, recall Teddy Thomas for the injured Louis Dupichot while veteran former Ireland lock Donnacha Ryan comes in for Bernard Le Roux. The only change on their bench sees Boris Palu step up for the promoted Ryan.
RACING: 15. Simon Zebo; 14. Teddy Thomas, 13. Virimi Vakatawa, 12. Olivier Klemenczak, 11. Juan Imhoff; 10. Finn Russell, 9. Teddy Iribaren (capt); 1. Eddy Ben Arous, 2. Camille Chat, 3. Georges Henri Colombe, 4. Donnacha Ryan, 5. Dominic Bird, 6. Wenceslas Lauret, 7. Fabien Sanconnie, 8. Antonie Claassen. Reps: 16. Teddy Baubigny, 17. Hassane Kolingar, 18. Ali Oz, 19. Boris Palu, 20. Baptiste Chouzenoux, 21. Maxime Machenaud, 22. Antoine Gibert, 23. Francois Trinh-Duc.
SARACENS: 15. Elliot Daly; 14. Alex Lewington, 13. Duncan Taylor, 12. Brad Barritt (capt), 11. Sean Maitland; 10. Alex Goode, 9. Richard Wigglesworth; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Jamie George, 3. Vincent Koch, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Tim Swinson, 6. Mike Rhodes, 7. Jackson Wray, 8. Billy Vunipola. Reps: 16. Tom Woolstencroft, 17. Richard Barrington, 18. Alec Clarey, 19. Callum Hunter-Hill, 20. Calum Clark, 21. Aled Davies, 22. Manu Vunipola, 23. Dom Morris.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now