Munster v Saracens - Heineken Cup match preview

Last Updated: 08/12/12 5:37pm

  • Share:

Sky Bet

This weekend sees Pool One leaders Saracens travel to Thomond Park looking for their first-ever victory over Munster in the Heineken Cup.

The English side, unbeaten after wins over Racing Metro and Edinburgh, will have high ambitions as they visit one of the fortresses of European rugby.

However, they have lost all three of their previous meetings with the Irish former tournament winners.

Yet, with Saracens fly-half Charlie Hodgson being the tournament's leading scorer after the first two rounds with 40 points, the side will be confident going into this clash.

Number eight Ernst Joubert will make his 100th appearance for Sarries after being named in the starting line-up.

The Londoners also welcome back into the matchday 23 the England quintet of Alex Goode, Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton, Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola. Barritt, Ashton, Goode and Farrell start the match with Vunipola named on the bench.

After being rested last weekend, Kelly Brown and Schalk Brits also return to the side.

Meanwhile, Munster have made seven changes to the side that faced Edinburgh, with two of those positional.

Ronan O'Gara, James Coughlan and Keith Earls missed out last time through injury and Felix Jones came on as a replacement in that game on his return from injury.

Having returned to the outside centre berth last week after the November internationals, Earls retains that jersey at the expense of Casey Laulala who offers a very powerful back-up option from the bench.

Dave O'Callaghan has been handed the No 6 shirt in what will be his first Heineken Cup start as back-rowers Sean Dougall, Niall Ronan and Tommy O'Donnell are all on the injured list.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett (capt), 13 Keith Earls, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Peter O'Mahony, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Peter Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Casey Laulala.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Owen Farrell, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 18 George Kruis, 19 Andy Saull, 20 Richard Wigglesworth, 21 Joel Tomkins, 22 Chris Wyles.

  • Share:

Related

Heineken Cup week three 2012/13

Pierre Berard crosses for Montpellier's opening try

More Heineken woe for Welsh

Cardiff had their Heineken Cup hopes ended after falling to a third straight Pool Six loss at the hands of Montpellier.

Jonathan Humphreys: Happy with performance despite defeat

Humphreys proud of Ospreys

Jonathan Humphreys praised the commitment and character shown by his Ospreys side after their 30-14 defeat by Toulouse.

Conor O'Shea reflected on a solid victory for Harlequins at Zebre

O'Shea plays down Zebre rout

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea refused to be carried away by the emphatic win over Zebre.

Most Popular

Features

Robinson plans Blackburn exit

Robinson plans Blackburn exit

Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson has told Sky Sports he will leave the club this summer and could move abroad.

Supplement podcast

Supplement podcast

A Wembley special as the panel debate referees, Qatar 2022, Arsene Wenger's future and more...

Soccer AM Futsal Cup returns

Soccer AM Futsal Cup returns

The Soccer AM Futsal Cup returns for a second season with the action screened on Saturday mornings throughout March and May.