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Saracens, Sale name their Gallagher Premiership final teams

By Liam Heagney
Saracens' Mako Vunipola (Photo by Mark Pain/PA Images via Getty Images)

Saracens have named their team to take on Sale on Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership final at Twickenham, making one surprise change from their May 13 semi-final win over Northampton.

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Mako Vuniopla was the starting loosehead in the 38-15 victory over the Saints at the StoneX, but the England prop has only been chosen on the bench for the final with his starting place going to the promoted Eroni Mawi.

The only other Saracens change is on their bench with Aled Davies, who has recovered from a hamstring issue, restored as their back-up scrum-half at the expense of American Ruben de Haas.

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The number of Sale alterations mirrors Saracens, with just one change to their starting pack and a single tweak to their replacements.

With Ben Curry a first-half casualty in the 21-13 semi-final win over Leicester, his place in the starting back row is taken by Sam Dugdale.

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Dan du Preez didn’t last long when came off the bench against the Tigers and his spot in the reserves is filled by Tom Ellis.

Saracens skipper Owen Farrell said: “These games are the reason you play and that makes it so exciting. We have worked hard this year and the lads have done a brilliant job to put us in this position, but we want to make sure we finish it off.

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“Last year is in the past. It took us a while to think about how to get the best out of ourselves, but we have made some good steps forward this season and hopefully that is shown on Saturday.”

SARACENS: 15. Alex Goode; 14. Max Malins, 13. Alex Lozowski, 12. Nick Tompkins, 11. Sean Maitland, 10 Owen Farrell (capt), 9. Ivan Van Zyl; 1. Eroni Mawi, 2. Jamie George, Marco Riccioni, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Hugh Tizard, 6. Nick Isiekwe, 7. Ben Earl, 8. Jackson Wray. Reps: 16. Theo Dan, 17. Mako Vunipola, 18. Christian Judge, 19. Callum Hunter-Hill, 20. Toby Knight, 21. Aled Davies, 22. Duncan Taylor, 23. Elliot Daly.

SALE: 15. Joe Carpenter; 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Rob du Preez, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Arron Reed; 10. George Ford, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Jean-Luc du Preez, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Tom Curry, 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jono Ross (capt). Reps: 16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Bevan Rodd, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Josh Beaumont, 20. Tom Ellis, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Sam James, 23. Tom O’Flaherty.

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Turlough 4 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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