Premiership Semi-Final: Saracens v Harlequins

Saracens v Harlequins
Harlequins were defeated 19-10 by Saracens when they last met at StoneX Stadium on February 2, 2003
Venue: StoneX Stadium Date: Saturday, 11 June Kick-off: 13:00 BST Coverage: Live scores and updates on BBC Sport.

Saracens are determined to be their strongest side in order to defeat Harlequins, reigning Premiership champions.

England captain Owen Farrell leads Sarries side that has Maro Itoje making his 150th appearance for club.

Quins make two modifications to the side that lost a 13-try thriller at Exeter.

Huw Jones is back at full-back. Tyrone Green takes Louis Lynagh's place on the wing, while Cadan Murley takes Aaron Morris' place out wide.

The winner will face Northampton or Leicester in the final at Twickenham on Saturday 18 June.

Saracens will play in their first playoff game since beating Exeter to win the 2019 Premiership final.

The club was relegated at the end of the following season after breaching the Premiership's salary cap rules And won an abridged Championship Last season.

Saracens are able to ‘go back where they want'

Mark McCall's side finished second in Premiership with seven points less than Leicester. They won 17 and lost six regular-season matches.

After making 15 changes for a 54-7 loss at Gloucester They also recall several international stars like Mako and Billy Vunipola from England, Jamie George and Maro Itoje, as well as Vincent Koch, winner of the Springbok World Cup.

Maro itoje in action for Saracens
England & Lions star Maro Itoje will play his 150th game for Saracens on Saturday

Aled Davies, the Welsh scrumhalf, will join Farrell at halfback. Alex Goode, Sean Maitland and Elliot Daly, as well as Nick Tompkins, are also back in the backline along with Max Malins.

George said that he had been thinking about this or aspiring to be there for the past 18 months.

“To be back there, it's what we want, it is where we feel most at home, it's the place we feel most secure, and it generally brings out our best.

“Things are very similar to what they were years ago. While the training intensity has increased as usual, there's still a good feeling at camp.

“We talk a lot about building towards something. We are here now, it is time to be there and it's finally time to put it all together.

Champions Quins “will stand their ground”

Quins was founded one year ago won a dramatic semi-final 43-36 in extra time Table-topping Bristol

They carried this momentum into the final week later. beat much-fancied Exeter at Twickenham Lynagh got two late tries during a see-saw fight.

While Saracens chose to rest their frontline players last Wednesday, Quins deployed most theirs at Sandy Park after having only played once since April.

Marcus Smith (left) and Owen Farrell
Owen Farrell and Marcus Smith (left), have not played each other since August 2020.

As the 23-year old goes head-tohead with Farrell, England's fly-half, Marcus Smith will be all eyes.

Lynagh's injury will be a major blow. However, Scotland's back Huw Jones will try to end his Harlequins career with a bang. a summer move back to Glasgow.

Eleven members of the starting team were present at Twickenham's final last season, and there are plenty of experience provided by Joe Marler and Danny Care, Stephan Lewies, Alex Dombrandt, and Alex Dombrandt.

“We know it will be a ferocious climate on the field,” Nick Evans (Harlequins attack coach) told BBC Radio London.

“You can see that Sarries love the confrontation with Owen (Farrell) and they play it well. We expect that, but we will not give up.

“The guys have discussed what that looks like, what we need to be doing and when these types of things will happen.

It's controlled aggression and cards at this point in the season can really hurt you. Although we had one in the final, it was not a big deal. However, against a team such as Sarries, it can be very difficult to keep down to 14 players.

“We are very aware of what Sarries love, and that's great. We'll be in your faces as well. That's part the thrill of this game.

Saracens: Goode, Maitland; Daly, Tompkins; Malins, Farrell (capt), Davies, M Vunipola; George, Koch Itoje Swinson McFarland Earl, B Vunipola

Replacements: Pifeleti. Clarey. Clarey. Isiekwe. Christie. Van Zyl. Lozowski. Taylor.

Harlequins: Jones, Green; Marchant, Esterhuizen; Murley; Smith; Care; Marler; Walker, Collier; Symons; Tizard; Lewies (capt), Evans; Dombrandt

Replacements: Gray, Kerrod, Louw, Jurevicius, Lawday, Gjaltema, Allan, Northmore.

Referee: Luke Pearce

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