Saracens name side for Sharks
January 24, 2014
Saracens are not taking their challenge match with Super Rugby's Sharks lightly after naming a strong side for Saturday's clash at Allianz Park.
Steve Borthwick will lead out the side, who take on a Sharks outfit with eight Springboks in their ranks. Though Saracens' England stars are away training with the national team the Barnet club have no shortage of experience.
Mark McCall's side have Springboks of their own to turn to, with hooker Schalk Brits and scrum-half Neil de Kock in the starting XV. Record Aviva Premiership points scorer Charlie Hodgson starts at 10 in the absence of Owen Farrell, while David Strettle - a notable omission from Stuart Lancaster's Six Nations squad - is on the wing.
The pack is bolstered by the presence of two England players, with Mouritz Botha in the second row and British & Irish Lions tighthead Matt Stevens at prop.
Saracens: Wyles; Short, Tagicakibau, Bosch, Strettle; Hodgson, de Kock; Joubert, Burger, Melck, Botha, Borthwick , Stevens, Brits, Barrington
Replacements: Spurling, Auterac, Du Plessis, Jubb, Kikutani, Wigglesworth, Taylor, Stanley
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Andy Murray's recent run of good form came to a startling end as once again Novak Djokovic got the better of him with a 7-5 6-2 victory in their Paris Masters quarter-final
The US Grand Prix in Austin looks set to offer a tantalising battle between championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg this weekend after the Mercedes team-mates were split by just 0.003s in Friday practice
The All Blacks will use their next four games as a trial run for next year's Rugby World Cup
Kamui Kobayashi is wishing for three-car teams to become a reality in order to give him the best chance of reviving his F1 career
Louis van Gaal has said Wayne Rooney is fit to play in the Manchester derby on Sunday and claimed his striker "was never injured"
Andy Murray's inspired run of form has put paid to talk of him being in decline, but it took exactly that motivation to spark him into life in the first place, argues Simon Barnes
Vincenzo Nibali's win in the Tour de France this year means he has won all three big Tours - France, Italy and Spain. How many other people have done this?
'The head-in-the-sand attitude of the teams does them no credit.' Maurice Hamilton looks at the state of Formula One after the collapse of Marussia and Caterham since the last grand prix
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
The Inside Line looks at the unique way F1's drivers reacted to the prospect of having teams with third cars on the grid in 2015
Manchester City were given a double injury worry ahead of Sunday's derby after David Silva and Yaya Toure came off with problems in their League Cup defeat to Newcastle
Roy Keane claims Paul Scholes was too lazy to do interviews as a player and suspects it is big cheques that have persuaded his old Manchester United team-mate to enter television punditry
Angel Di Maria has thanked Manchester United's fans for the support he has received since he came to England
Daniel Sturridge says his persistent injury problems could be hereditary as he faces several more weeks out for Liverpool with a calf strain
Everton manager Robert Martinez is confident Romelu Lukaku will be able to face Swansea even though he limped off with a toe injury during last Sunday's 3-1 Premier League win at Burnley
Nathan Cleverly tells ESPN that American Bernard Hopkins is facing a stoppage defeat and the end of his career when he fights Sergey Kovalev in a world light-heavyweight title unification bout on November 8
Division ran through Wimbledon in the early 2000s when the town's team were moved to Milton Keynes but a steadfast fan base refused to follow, famously setting up their own non-League team, AFC Wimbledon
Steve Bunce takes an alternative look at Muhammad Ali and George Foreman's Rumble in the Jungle with nine punchy points you probably didn't know
Simon Barnes asks what kind of football spectators really want as Chelsea and the richer clubs lead the way in drowning football's drama and beauty in cynicism
Watching the sun beat down during a warm Russian GP, it amazed me that they held the Winter Olympics there. Was Sochi the most southerly Winter Games venue ever?