TEAM NEWS | Sale Sharks v Saracens Men
Nick Tompkins is aware that Saracens Men will be taking on a fired up Sale Sharks outfit when they travel to the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday evening.
The centre has returned from Six Nations duty and is fully focused on ending this block of Premiership matches strongly to consolidate their position in the top four before European competition resumes.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made three changes to the starting line-up from the side that beat Bristol Bears in last Saturday’s Showdown match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with two coming up front and one in the back-line.
Eroni Mawi returns as loosehead prop, whilst Jamie George captains the side at hooker and Vincent Koch completes the front-row.
Nick Isiekwe, the latest Saracens centurion is joined by Tim Swinson who is back in the second-row, with Maro Itoje moving to blindside flanker. Ben Earl, who was Player of the Match against his former side last week stays at openside with Billy Vunipola at number eight.
Aled Davies stays at scrum-half after an energetic display a week ago, and he is joined by Alex Goode as his half-back partner who moves in to fly-half from full-back to replace Owen Farrell who is still completing his return to play protocol following his head injury assessment against Bristol.
Tompkins and Alex Lozowski continue what has become a settled midfield partnership, and in the back-three Max Malins, who scored twice on his return is on the left wing, with Sean Maitland on the right and Elliot Daly in the 15 shirt.
On the bench Alec Clarey has recovered from an ankle injury and will be looking to make his first appearance since the end of January, and the dynamic Theo McFarland also returns to the 23.
Tompkins says the squad know how big the challenge will be against the Sharks on Friday.
“We didn’t quite click last week but the group hasn’t been together for a while so we learnt a lot and all of our focus is on finishing this block on a high.
Sale have a wealth of talent and they will be very physical but we feel like we are building some good momentum and want to continue that.”
Saracens Men team to play Sale Sharks:
1 Eroni Mawi
2 Jamie George (c)
3 Vincent Koch
4 Nick Isiekwe
5 Tim Swinson
6 Maro Itoje
7 Ben Earl
8 Billy Vunipola
9 Aled Davies
10 Alex Goode
11 Max Malins
12 Nick Tompkins
13 Alex Lozowski
14 Sean Maitland
15 Elliot Daly
16 Tom Woolstencroft
17 Richard Barrington
18 Alec Clarey
19 Theo McFarland
20 Andy Christie
21 Ruben de Haas
22 Duncan Taylor
23 Alex Lewington