Oct 13, 2017
Champions Cup Match Preview: Saints v Saracens
Champions Cup rugby makes it’s long awaited return this weekend with Sarries heading up the M1 to face rivals Northampton Saints on Sunday evening.
Saints secured their place in this season’s Champions Cup through the play-offs, defeating Connaught in the semis before securing their place in the top tier of European competition with a 23-22 win over Challenge Cup champions Stade Francais. As an Aviva Premiership side the Saints are well known to Saracens but the two teams have also met once before in the Champions Cup, in the 2015/16 quarter final stages.
One to watch – Piers Francis
Fly half Francis joined Saints over the summer and made his competitive debut last weekend against Gloucester. Prior to joining Saints the 27 year old spent 8 years in New Zealand, making 24 appearances for the Blues after signing for them in 2016, and was also a member of the Saracens Academy in his youth.
Last time out
While Saints and Sarries have faced many times over the years in the Aviva Premiership their only prior meeting in the Champions Cup was at Allianz Park in the quarter final stages of the 2015/16 competition. Saints held a 10-6 lead after the first forty but Saracens hit back to claim a 29-20 victory thanks to tries from Chris Ashton and Chris Wyles.
"We’ve obviously had some great battles against Northampton in the past and this will be no different. They’re unbelievable at their home ground, with their home crowd behind them, but that’s a challenge we relish.” – Brad Barritt
Jim Mallinder told the Saints website: "It’s going to be tough, we will be the underdogs going into that game, but it’s something we’re actually looking forward to.”
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (Fra)
Assistant Ref: Cyril Lafon (Fra)
Assistant Ref: Jean-Luc Rebollal (Fra)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (Fra)
Citing Commissioner: Eddie Walsh (Ire)
Where to follow
TV – Live on BT Sport
Radio - BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Radio Northampton and BBC Radio London.
Twitter – live commentary via @saracens
Social – coverage across Facebook, @saracensofficial, and Instragram, @saracensofficial.