Saracens have named their side to face the Cell C Sharks in Saturday’s Sanlam Private Investments Shield match at Allianz Park, kick-off 14h30.
Steve Borthwick will captain the side from lock, and is partnered from England second-rower Mouritz Botha. In the front row, British and Irish Lions tighthead Matt prop Matt Stevens starts, and is joined by Springbok hooker Schalk Brits and Richard Barrington.
Former Blue Bulls flanker Jacques Burger returns to the side to start in the seven shirt. He is joined by former Western Province loose-forward Justin Melck and the experienced former Golden Lions No.8 Ernst Joubert in the back-row.
At half back, South African international Neil de Kock is partnered by the English Premiership’s record points scorer Charlie Hodgson, whilst in the midfield, Argentine international Marcelo Bosch is joined by Fijian flyer Michael Tagicakibau to form an all international centre partnership.
European rugby’s leading try scorer David Strettle starts on the left wing and is partnered by 2011 Premiership final match winner James Short on the flanks. USA international full-back Chris Wyles makes up the starting XV, playing at full-back.
On the bench, Japanese international Takashi Kikutani is included. The Cherry Blossom international has been training with club since the new year.
Saracens Starting XV;
15. Chris Wyles; 14. James Short, 13. Michael Tagicakibau, 12. Marcelo Bosch, 11. David Strettle; 10. Charlie Hodgson, 9. Neil de Kock; 1. Richard Barrington, 2. Schalk Brits, 3. Matt Stevens, 4. Steve Borthwick (c), 5. Mouritz Botha, 6. Justin Melck, 7. Jacques Burger, 8. Ernst Joubert.
16. Scott Spurling, 17. Nick Auterac, 18. Petrus Du Plessis, 19. Tom Jubb, 20. Takashi Kikutani, 21. Richard Wigglesworth, 22. Duncan Taylor, 23. Sam Stanley.