Mar 15, 2019
Premiership Rugby Cup final Team News: Northampton Saints vs Saracens Men
Nine players from the Saracens Academy will start Sunday’s Premiership Rugby Cup final against Northampton Saints with a further five on the bench.
The tournament’s Breakthrough Player nominees Matt Gallagher and Tom Whiteley line-up in the backs and Joel Kpoku has returned from England Under-20s duty to slot into the second row.
The average age of the backline is 23-years-old, only upped by Argentina international Marcelo Bosch at outside centre, while a young pack is boosted by the experienced Calum Clark, Dom Day and Richard Barrington.
Openside flanker Sean Reffell has been an ever-present in the Premiership Rugby Cup and made a club-record 38 tackles in the semi-final win over Worcester Warriors. He’s joined in the back row by Ben Earl who was equally as impressive from Number 8 at Sixways and played a hand in Rotimi Segun’s score in the corner, along with opposite wing Ali Crossdale.
Dom Morris has been explosive throughout and Max Malins’ sparkling displays have helped Sarries get the go-forward needed to reach the club’s first final of the competition since winning it in 2015.
“These guys have earned the right to play in a final and we can’t wait to see them on the weekend,” coach Adam Powell said.
“It’s important for the young players to lead their environment when they’re together and this year they’ve done very well. They’ve really gelled as a unit and there’s been a great feeling all the way through the tournament.”
Saracens team to face Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens in the Premiership Rugby Cup final (KO 15H00):
FORWARDS: Richard Barrington (160), Christopher Tolofua (32), Christian Judge (15), Joel Kpoku (7), Dom Day (29), Calum Clark (34), Sean Reffell (7), Ben Earl (34).
BACKS: Matt Gallagher (30), Ali Crossdale (7), Marcelo Bosch (129), Dom Morris (10), Rotimi Segun (9), Max Malins (26), Tom Whiteley (24).
REPLACEMENTS: Joe Gray (6), Ralph Adams-Hale (6), Hayden Thompson-Stringer (30), Nick Isiekwe (54), Sione Vailanu (9), Henry Taylor (13), Tom Griffiths (3), Alex Lewington (21).