Apr 10, 2015
Saracens vs Leicester Tigers - Preview
Saracens host Leicester Tigers at Allianz Park in a Premiership clash that could have huge ramifications for the top four race this season.
Saracens are coming off the back of a string of impressive performances and results. The north London club are unbeaten in their last six games, have reached their third European semi-final in as many years and are lying in second place in the Aviva Premiership.
Saracens have had a run of tough fixtures and that is set to continue with Leicester Tigers, Clermont and Northampton all in a row.
Saracens have Schalk Brits and Brad Barritt back from injury and Owen Farrell looks to be close to recovery.
Leicester Tigers always tend to reach top form towards the end of the season and they seem to be doing it again.
The Tigers have won their last five games in the Aviva Premiership and sit just two points behind Saracens in fourth place.
Leicester leapfrogged Exeter Chiefs with an impressive win over the top four contenders at Welford Road in their last outing.
Speaking ahead of the game Mark McCall said: “Leicester are masters of momentum so it is important that we do not let anything slip.
“This season has felt like a bit of a slog and we have had to work really hard to get to this point. But we have managed to keep our head above water. The schedule has changed as well, as no sooner do you contest a European quarter-final than you have the semi-final. There used to be a month’s break. It is big game after big game and you have to make sure you are switched on.”
He added: “We are going to have to spread the load through the squad, but we have got some players coming back."
“Saracens have had a great result last weekend so they will be buzzing," said Leicester Tigers full back Matthew Tait.
"They are a very well drilled side, they pride themselves on their Wolf Pack, there's a very good culture within the team and some quality players throughout, we will have to be ready. It is just about the results at this point of the season, we take each game as it comes.
He added: "As a team we would like to have scored more tries, to play more attractive rugby but it comes down to scoring points in the end.”
Saracens and Leicester have played 48 times: Saracens have 16 wins and Leicester 27. There have also been 4 draws.
Leicester Tigers have scored 26 tries this season, the eleventh lowest total in the league.
Ernest Joubert has scored four tries against Leicester Tigers, the most of any Saracens player in this fixture.
Men to Watch
Saracens have got England international Brad Barritt back from injury just at the right time and the tough centre will be looking to pick up where he left off. Barritt was in superb form and in line for an England recall before he picked up the untimely injury against Wasps a month ago.
Saracens scrum half Richard Wigglesworth will go head-to-head with England rival Ben Youngs this Saturday. Wigglesworth’s tactical kicking will be key to ensuring Saracens keep the pressure on the visitors. The Blackpool born half back has been in excellent form this season and featured in every Six Nations game for England.
Leicester Tigers have not been prolific try scorers this season, but still find themselves in fourth position in the Premiership. Freddie Burns kicking his goals has been a key factor in this. The Leicester fly-half knocked over six penalties and a conversion in the Tigers' win over Exeter Chiefs two weeks ago. Burns' kicks from hand were excellent against the Chiefs two weeks ago, giving his team good field position throughout the game. Saracens will need to keep their discipline just as they did against Racing Metro to ensure that Burns has no chance to put points on the board.