Saracens have been dealt a huge winter blow with the revelation that Alex Goode, the European Cup player of the year for 2019, will be out of action for up to four months with a pectoral tear.
In the same match, Kapeli Pifeleti was forced off with a knee injury which will see the academy hooker sidelined for approximately ten weeks.
It amounts to a heavy casualty list for the reigning Premiership/European Cup double title holders who opened their new English league campaign with a home defeat to the Saints last Saturday.
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Mark McCall’s men are the bookmakers’ favourites to retain their league crown but are facing an early test of their strength in depth with the nucleus of the side still 6,000 miles away trying to win the World Cup with England.
The European champions have 15 players either in or returning from Japan, including their most notable off-season addition, Elliot Daly, and they have already lost tighthead prop Josh Ibuanokpe to a five-week ban for striking.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 25, 2019
No8 Jackson Wray takes the captaincy role in the absence of Goode and Barritt, leading a side with three further changes to the starting XV from the opening day.
WATCH: Former Saracens player Jim Hamilton previews the World Cup semi-finals in the latest episode of Don’t Mess With Jim
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