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'The boys have had a positive attitude': Ambushed Saracens name XV for their second Championship match

By Sam Smith
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Saracens have reacted to their disastrous baptism in the Championship by making just one change to their starting XV following the opening round defeat to Cornish Pirates, the place of Scotland pick Sean Maitland going to Rotimi Segun.


Scottish winger Maitland – who now faces Ireland in the Guinness Six Nations this Sunday – was in the Saracens team that suffered the 25-17 second-tier loss which made headlines around the rugby world as it was thought that the 2019 Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Cup champions would have it easy in making their way back to the top flight. 

It was January 2020 when Saracens were told they would be automatically relegated for repeated salary cap breaches and the Championship debut didn’t go to plan, Mark McCall seeing a selection that contained seven internationals and 165 Test caps lose their way in their second half at Mennaye Field. 

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Owen Farrell and Eddie Jones look ahead to England versus France

Video Spacer

Owen Farrell and Eddie Jones look ahead to England versus France

They will now look to rectify that damage at home to a Jersey side who had a bye in last weekend’s opening round. With Segun promoted to the starting XV in place of the unavailable Maitland, USA Test player Will Hooley comes onto the bench along with Josh Ibuanokpe as sub tighthead Alec Clarey has been ruled out for the fixture against his old club. 

Asked how Saracens have responded to their round one ambush, full-back Elliott Obatoyinbo told his club’s website: “The message this week is we have been here before as a team. We know what to do and the boys have had a positive attitude which is what we need.

“We need to focus on our strengths and have a positive mindset and that will give us the best chance to get a positive result against Jersey. We need to do the simple things, first of all with our mentality. We have got to be there and we need to be physical. If we get that right all the other things will fall into place nicely after that.”

SARACENS (vs Jersey, Saturday)
15 Elliott Obatoyinbo
14 Alex Lewington
13 Duncan Taylor
12 Juan Pablo Socino
11 Rotimi Segun
10 Manu Vunipola
9 Aled Davies
1 Richard Barrington
2 Kapeli Pifeleti
3 Vincent Koch
4 Callum Hunter-Hill
5 Tim Swinson
6 Mike Rhodes
7 Sean Reffell
8 Jackson Wray (capt)
16 Sam Crean
17 Eroni Mawi
18 Josh Ibuanokpe
19 Joel Kpoku
20 Andy Christie
21 Tom Whiteley
22 Dom Morris
23 Will Hooley



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