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Saracens make one change as they roll out big guns for semi-final tilt

By Ian Cameron
Owen Farrell /PA

Saracens have named a full-strength side as they seek to secure a home semi-final with a win over Northampton Saints.

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Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made just one change to the side who lost to Toulon at the Stade Mayol, with Scotland international Sean Maitland, who signed a new contract earlier this week returning to the right wing, replacing Max Malins who suffered a hamstring injury in France.

The pack will remain unaltered. Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, and Vincent Koch will pack down in the front row once again, with Maro Itoje and Nick Isiekwe in charge of the lineout. At the base of the scrum, Theo McFarland, Ben Earl, and Billy Vunipola are in charge of providing front-foot ball for the backs.

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Halfbacks Aled Davies and skipper Owen Farrell remain, while Nick Tompkins and Elliot Daly maintain their strong midfield pairing.

Rotimi Segun, who keeps his place on the left wing, says the prospect of securing a home semi-final has given the squad huge motivation for Saturday’s crunch match.

“Northampton are a group that love to play attacking rugby but we are pushing to secure a home semi and first and foremost that’s what we’re going after.”

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“We know what went wrong last week and we know that there is loads to improve on, and this is the first opportunity to do it. The Premiership is now the only competition we can go for so we want to put our teeth straight back in to it.”

Meanwhile Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Chris Boyd has made four changes (See below) to his side for the game.

SARACENS:
1 Mako Vunipola
2 Jamie George
3 Vincent Koch
4 Maro Itoje
5 Nick Isiekwe
6 Theo McFarland
7 Ben Earl
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Aled Davies
10 Owen Farrell (c)
11 Rotimi Según
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Elliot Daly
14 Sean Maitland
15 Alex Goode

Replacements:
16 Ethan Lewis
17 Ralph Adams-Hale
18 Alec Clarey
19 Callum Hunter-Hill
20 Jackson Wray
21 Ivan van Zyl
22 Alex Lozowski
23 Alex Lewington

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NORTHAMPTON SAINTS:
15 George Furbank
14 Tommy Freeman
13 Matt Proctor
12 Fraser Dingwall
11 Courtnall Skosan
10 Dan Biggar
9 Alex Mitchell
1 Emmanuel Iyogun
2 Mike Haywood
3 Ehren Painter
4 Alex Coles
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Aaron Hinkley
8 Lewis Ludlam (c)

REPLACEMENTS:
16 Sam Matavesi
17 Alex Waller
18 Paul Hill
19 Alex Moon
20 Brandon Nansen
21 Tom James
22 Rory Hutchinson
23 Ollie Sleightholme

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