London Welsh v Saracens - Aviva Premiership match preview
Last Updated: 07/10/12 11:05am
Former Wales international centre Gavin Henson will make his first Aviva Premiership start for London Welsh against Saracens at the Kassam Stadium today.
Henson, who replaces Gordon Ross at No 10, is one of six changes made by head coach Lyn Jones to the starting line-up which went down 31-25 to Gloucester last Sunday.
Hooker Dan George and centre James Lewis replace Neil Briggs and Sonny Parker, who both have injuries.
Canadian international Phil Mackenzie comes in on the right wing, with Tom Arscott reverting to full-back and Seb Jewell named on the bench.
Mike Denbee returns to the side following the injury he sustained against Exeter Chiefs and replaces Michael Hills at openside flanker.
Saracens have recalled Charlie Hodgson, David Strettle and James Short.
With Alex Goode, Brad Barritt and Chris Ashton among those rested on rotation, Strettle will make his first start of the season and Owen Farrell will switch to inside centre with Hodgson named at fly-half.
In the forwards, John Smit starts at hooker with second-row George Kruis and flanker Andy Saull both getting their first runs of the season.
London Welsh: 15 T Arscott, 14 P MacKenzie, 13 J Lewis, 12 H Tonga'uiha, 11 N Scott, 10 G Henson, 9 T Keats, 8 E Jackson, 7 M Denbee, 6 D Browne, 5 M Corker, 4 J Mills (capt), 3 P Ion, 2 D George, 1 F Montanella.
Replacements: 16 G Bateman, 17 T Bristow, 18 A Joly, 19 K Kulemin, A To'oala, 21 N Runciman, 22 R Davis, 23 S Jewell.
Saracens: 15 C Wyles, 14 D Strettle, 13 J Tomkins, 12 O Farrell, 11 J Short, 10 C Hodgson, 9 R Wigglesworth, 8 J Wray, 7 A Saull, 6 W Fraser, 5 G Kruis, 4 S Borthwick (c), 3 M Stevens, 2 J Smit, 1 R Gill.
Replacements: 16 J George, 17 M Vunipola, 18 C Nieto, 19 M Botha, 20 N Fenton-Wells, 21 N De Kock, 22 K Ratuvou, 23 D Taylor.
What they said...
Exiles new boy Gavin Henson
"I am really looking forward to making my first start for London Welsh in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.
"Having been given the opportunity by Lyn Jones and the club to play in the Premiership, it was both disappointing and frustrating to pick up an injury against Scarlets in pre-season.
"However, the boys have done really well in the first five games and now I just cannot wait to start playing my part with the rest of the team. I am also very excited about playing at the Kassam in front of the London Welsh supporters for the first time.
"Saracens are an extremely good side, we know that, but this is a great opportunity both for me and for London Welsh to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the Aviva Premiership."
Fri 24th Apr
Bath43 - 18London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks23 - 25Harlequins
Gloucester42 - 40Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers38 - 17London Welsh
Northampton25 - 20Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps36 - 29Exeter
Fri 8th May
Harlequins0 - 0Bath
Sat 9th May
Sale Sharks0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester0 - 0London Irish
Northampton0 - 0London Welsh
Wasps0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 10th May
Saracens0 - 0Exeter
Sat 16th May
Bath0 - 0Gloucester
Exeter0 - 0Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers0 - 0Northampton
London Irish0 - 0Wasps
London Welsh0 - 0Saracens
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Harlequins