TEAM NEWS: Saracens Women v Loughborough Lightning
Head Coach Alex Austerberry believes his side are ready to put everything on the line as they prepare to take on Loughborough Lightning in the Allianz Premier 15s semi-final.
The Women in Black have made five changes to the starting XV for Saturday’s clash at StoneX Stadium, which will boast a record crowd for a one-off Women’s matchday.
There are four changes in the pack as top try scorer May Campbell is back at hooker alongside Hannah Botterman and Bryony Cleall with Jodie Rettie moving to the bench.
Sophie de Goede will partner Emma Taylor in an all-Canadian second row, while Vicky Fleetwood, Marlie Packer and Poppy Cleall make up a formidable back-row.
In the backs there is one change as Sarah McKenna returns at full-back in place of Chantelle Miell with Lotte Clapp and Rachel Laqeretabua making up the back three.
Emma Swords and Zoe Harrison’s trusted half-back partnership continues, as does the centre pairing of Hannah Casey and Sydney Gregson.
A stacked bench will hope to make a big impact in the last-four encounter and boasts the likes of Rocky Clark, Rosie Galligan, Georgia Evans and the returning Holly Aitchison.
Austerberry is aware of the challenge ahead on Saturday but believes the supporters will have a big role to play in giving his side an edge.
“Knock- out rugby is special and is a very different beast,” he said. “As a group we have been ensuring we are in the best place possible physically and mentally to ensure we are ready for the test.
“The chance to run out in front of our Saracens family in a game where everything is on the line, well it does not get better than that.
“The last time we played knockout rugby it was a truly memorable occasion and we look forward to making another memory as a group and for everyone associated with the club.”
Saracens Women’s team to play Loughborough Lightning:
15 Sarah McKenna
14 Rachel Laqeretabua
13 Sydney Gregson
12 Hannah Casey
11 Lotte Clapp ©
10 Zoe Harrison
9 Emma Swords
1 Hannah Botterman
2 May Campbell
3 Bryony Ceall
4 Sophie de Goede
5 Emma Taylor
6 Vicky Fleetwood
7 Marlie Packer
8 Poppy Cleall
- Jodie Rettie
- Rocky Clark
- Donna Rose
- Rosie Galligan
- Georgia Evans
- Eloise Hayward
- Holly Aitchison
- Alysha Corrigan