Aviva Premiership match preview: Saracens v Northampton Saints
Last Updated: 12/05/13 2:13pm
Saracens have made two changes to their starting line-up for Sunday's Aviva Premiership semi-final encounter against Northampton Saints at Allianz Park.
The hosts welcome back Alex Goode at full-back, with Chris Wyles reduced to the bench as they look to reach a second Premiership final in three years.
Director of rugby Mark McCall's only other change in his starting XV is the return of Will Fraser at openside flanker in place of Andy Saull, who featured in last weekend's 23-14 victory against Bath.
Chris Ashton retains his place on the right wing having scored against Bath and McCall will look the England international once again this weekend.
Owen Farrell will continue at inside centre after scoring 13 points last time out as Saracens sealed top spot in the Premiership standings.
Meanwhile Jim Mallinder names just one change to the Saints side beaten 22-19 by Harlequins last weekend.
James Wilson has been promoted from the bench to replace George Pisi at outside centre in the starting XV.
Wilson's inclusion paves the way for Tom May to feature on Saints' bench.
Victory for Northampton would see them book a place in the Premiership final for only the second time.
Saracens have been victorious in the last three meetings between the two sides with the closest encounter coming in December 2012 with the Saints missing out 17-16 at the Allianz Park.
Saracens 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Carlos Nieto, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 George Kruis, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Chris Wyles
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 James Wilson, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 GJ van Velze, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May
What they said...
Saracens head coach Mark McCall
"Both teams know each other well, but both teams also have players who can turn a match in an instant from any part of the pitch and in any position.
"I am sure it will be a fiercely contested encounter and one that we are very much looking forward to."
Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley
"The only thing that counts is the next performance and the next result, which for us means getting a win on Sunday afternoon against a good Saracens team.
"They've got quality players in every position and you don't finish top of the table by accident or by fluke, they've won more games than anyone else and haven't lost at Allianz Park."
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
Aviva Premiership 2012/13 semi-finals
Mark McCall reflected on the "massive disappointment" of Saracens failing to reach the Aviva Premiership final.
Northampton shocked Saracens to reach the Aviva Premiership final after being inspired by Wigan's FA Cup heroics.
Pictures from Northampton's shock 27-13 Aviva Premiership semi-final win against Saracens at Allianz Park.