TEAM NEWS | London Irish v Saracens Men
Coach Kelly Brown believes Saracens Men must show the same character that got them off to a winning start in the Premiership Rugby Cup if they want to make it two from two against London Irish tomorrow evening.
The Men in Black opened their cup campaign with a bonus-point win over Harlequins and are now tasked with another local derby, this time against the Exiles at the Brentford Community Stadium.
The starting XV features five changes from last weekend, with two in the front-row as Theo Dan and Sam Wainwright come in to join Richard Barrington at the top of the scrum.
Cameron Boon and Callum Hunter-Hill continue in the second-row, whilst Toby Knight gets a start in the back-row after impressing off the bench against Quins. He will be joined by Theo McFarland and captain Andy Christie.
Ivan van Zyl returns at scrum-half with Manu Vunipola staying in the number 10 shirt following his 100% record from the tee last week. Dom Morris moves to inside centre and he has a new partner in the midfield as Brandon Jackson makes his first start for the club.
An unchanged back-three of Rotimi Segun who makes his 50th appearance for the club, Ben Harris and Elliott Obatoyinbo will be hoping to take any try-scoring opportunities that come their way.
The bench has a glimpse of the future with the likes of Samson Adejimi, Obinna Nkwocha and Tom Mills all included, and it also has international experience in the form of Ben Earl and Ruben de Haas.
Brown says the group are looking to build on their performance at StoneX Stadium last week when they arrive in Brentford on Friday.
“We’re really looking forward to playing a very good team on Friday. This is a competition that we value massively and it’s been a really good week, everyone has been very excited,” said the former Scotland captain.
“Irish are very dangerous and like to move the ball in attack so we are aware that we’ll need to be in on it defensively. It will be a tough challenge but if we show the same fight and character that we did last week we will be in a good place.”
Saracens Men team to play London Irish:
1 Richard Barrington
2 Theo Dan
3 Sam Wainwright
4 Cameron Boon
5 Callum Hunter-Hill
6 Theo McFarland
7 Toby Knight
8 Andy Christie (c)
9 Ivan van Zyl
10 Manu Vunipola
11 Rotimi Segun
12 Dom Morris
13 Brandon Jackson
14 Ben Harris
15 Elliott Obatoyinbo
16 Samson Adejimi
17 Sam Crean
18 Harvey Beaton
19 Obinna Nkwocha
20 Ben Earl
21 Ruben de Haas
22 Tom Mills
23 Francis Moore