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Saracens include Farrell but no sign yet of Smith for Harlequins

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

England skipper Owen Farrell will captain Saracens this Saturday at The Stoop but he won’t face Test teammate Marcus Smith as Harlequins have continued with his pre-season rest programme for the round two Gallagher Premiership match and will instead start Tommaso Allan at out-half. Farrell is joined in the Saracens team by Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje, who also toured Australia in July for the 2-1 Test series win, while Jamie George will start on the bench. 

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For Quins, England summer tourist Joe Marchant is promoted from last week’s replacements at Newcastle to start on the wing in place of the injured Nick David. He is one of three changes with Will Collier and Will Evans also included to start.

Joe Marler and Alex Dombrandt, who missed the England tour, are other notable starters for Tabai Matson’s side, but Danny Care will sit the match out along with Smith. A statement read: “Danny Care continues to rehabilitate a minor muscle strain sustained during pre-season, looking to return to the Harlequins match day squad over the next two weeks.

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“Unfortunately for the club, fly-half Marcus Smith was not given clearance to play this week and will continue his mandated rest period following England’s summer internationals.”

For Saracens, Hugh Tizard, their new signing from Harlequins, will debut at lock while scrum-half Ivan van Zyl will be alongside skipper Farrell at fly-half, with Nick Tompkins – on his 150th appearance for the club – and Alex Lozowski making up a familiar midfield partnership. Tompkins said: “It’s an amazing feeling to get this many caps for such a special team and with such special teammates. I’m very grateful to have the opportunities that have been given to me.”

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HARLEQUINS: 1. Joe Marler, 2. George Head, 3. Will Collier, 4. George Hammond, 5. Irne Herbst, 6. Jack Kenningham, 7. Will Evans, 8. Alex Dombrandt (capt); 9. Lewis Gjaltema, 10. Tommy Allan; 11. Cadan Murley, 12. Lennox Anyanwu, 13. Luke Northmore, 14. Joe Marchant, 15. Tyrone Green. Reps: 16. Jack Walker, 17. Simon Kerrod 18. Wilco Louw, 19. Dino Lamb, 20. Archie White, 21. Jack Stafford, 22. Will Edwards, 23. Hayden Hyde.

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SARACENS: 1. Eroni Mawi, 2. Tom Woolstencroft, 3. Christian Judge, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Hugh Tizard, 6. Theo McFarland, 7. Ben Earl, 8. Billy Vunipola; 9. Ivan van Zyl, 10. Owen Farrell (capt); 11. Alex Lewington, 12. Nick Tompkins, 13. Alex Lozowski, 14. Max Malins, 15. Elliot Daly. Reps: 16. Jamie George, 17. Mako Vunipola, 18. Alec Clarey, 19. Andy Christie, 20. Jackson Wray, 21. Aled Davies, 22. Manu Vunipola, 23. Duncan Taylor.

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