Aviva Premiership: Saturday preview

Last Updated: 07/02/14 1:59pm

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Jamie George: The England Saxons man returns to the Sarries squad

Jamie George: The England Saxons man returns to the Sarries squad

Sky Bet

Leaders Saracens return to Aviva Premiership action on Saturday against London Irish aiming to make it 12 wins in a row on home turf.

Saracens bowed out of league action for last month's break in scintillating form with their only loss coming in October against fellow high-fliers Northampton Saints.

Meanwhile, Irish face a daunting task having only won once away in the league since January 2013.

England Saxons duo Jamie George and George Kruis return to the Sarries squad with hooker George starting and lock forward Kruis named among the replacements.

Elsewhere, Ben Ransom continues at full-back and joins David Strettle and Chris Ashton in the Saracens back three.

Marcelo Bosch and Chris Wyles line up in the centres, whilst Charlie Hodgson and Neil de Kock make up an experienced half-back pairing.

London Irish recall George Skivington to their starting line-up to captain the side at Allianz Park. James O'Connor, who was a late withdrawal against Scarlets last weekend, has recovered to start at full-back.

Matt Parr, David Paice and Jamie Hagan make up the front row with George Skivington partnering Nic Rouse in the second row. Kieran Low and Blair Cowan, who both played for Scotland A against England Saxons last Friday evening, will play alongside Ofisa Treviranus in the back-row.

Tomas O'Leary and Shane Geraghty will continue at half back with Eamonn Sheridan and Fergus Mulchrone in the centre. Andrew Fenby, Topsy Ojo and O'Connor make up the back-three.

Bath take on Newcastle Falcons having lost just one of their last 17 games against them.

England trio

Bath have been boosted by the news that Kyle Eastmond, George Ford and Anthony Watson will all start for them.

Released by England, the trio take their place in a team that sees eight changes to the starting line-up from the team that secured the bonus-point victory at Welford Road last week.

Ford reforms his half-back partnership with Peter Stringer, as Kyle Eastmond links up with Ollie Devoto in the midfield. Watson comes in on the opposite wing to Matt Banahan, with Nick Abendanon selected at full-back.

Nathan Catt and Rob Webber return to the front row, packing down with Juan Pablo Orlandi. Club captain Stuart Hooper partners Dominic Day at lock, with the powerful back row of Matt Garvey, Francois Louw and Carl Fearns completing the starting XV.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Falcons have made two changes with Jamie Helleur replacing Adam Powell at centre, while in the engine room Scott MacLeod comes in for Dom Barrow who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.

In the evening clash, Exeter welcome high-flying Northampton to Sandy Park.

In the Exeter Chiefs pack, skipper Dean Mumm and Dave Ewers both return to the fray, whilst behind Phil Dollman comes into the centre. On the bench, Tom Johnson - released by England earlier this week - is included, alongside the returning Don Armand and Fetu'u Vainikolo.

The Northampton Saints travel with three of the club's four England Saxons in the ranks, with Alex Waller, Calum Clark and Sam Dickinson all coming straight into the team following their exploits against the Irish Wolfhounds and Scotland 'A'.

Stephen Myler and Christian Day make the step up from the replacements' bench to fly-half and the second row respectively, while Salesi Ma'afu and Phil Dowson both return after missing last weekend's win over Saracens.

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Aviva Premiership 2013/14 Round 13

Conor O'Shea: Relieved to see Harlequins win

O'Shea hails mental toughness

Conor O'Shea praised Harlequins' mental toughness after sneaking a late 11-10 win against London rivals Wasps.

Harlequins' Sam Smith, who scored the decisive late try in the game, is congratulated by Ugo Monye

Late Smith try stuns Wasps

Harlequins beat London Wasps 11-10 in the Aviva Premiership thanks to a late try from Sam Smith.

Brian Smith: Delighted with London Irish's execution against Saracens

Smith extols Exiles' execution

Brian Smith hailed London Irish's best win of the season after they became the first team to win at the Allianz Park.

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