Match Preview: Saracens v Exeter Chiefs

Match Preview: Saracens v Exeter Chiefs

The 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership Rugby season began with Exeter Chiefs handing Saracens a record defeat and that fixture will no doubt be on the minds of both teams as they prepare to face off once more.

That 65-10 win was an indication that Chiefs would be a threat this season and they will be hoping for another fine showing from fit-again full-back Josh Hodge, who scored a hat-trick that day.

While they are without the likes of Henry Slade and Ethan Roots, new Wales captain Dafydd Jenkins will lead the team.

Saracens, meanwhile, have Owen Farrell captaining their side as they look to make up the four points that currently separate them from Chiefs in the final semi-final spot as it stands.

TV: Live on TNT Sports, kick-off 5.30pm

Referee: Karl Dickson

Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley and Gareth Holsgrove

TMO: Rowan Kitt

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Rotimi Segun, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Olly Hartley, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 1 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 James Hadfield, 3 Christian Judge, 4 Theo McFarland, 5 Hugh Tizard, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 7 Andy Christie, 8 Billy Vunipola

Replacements: 16 Sam Crean, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Ollie Stonham, 20 Toby Knight, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Lucio Cinti, 23 Tom Parton 

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Ben Hammersley, 13 Zack Wimbush, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Stu Townsend, 1 Alec Hepburn, 2 Jack Yeandle, 3 Marcus Street, 4 Rusi Tuima, 5 Dafydd Jenkins (c), 6 Lewis Pearson, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 8 Greg Fisilau 

Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Danny Southworth, 18 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 19 Jack Dunne, 20 Ross Vintcent, 21 Tom Cairns, 22 Charlie McCaig, 23 Arthur Relton

Oval Insights


• Owen Farrell made more kicks in play than any other player in Round 11 (16). A round-high four of which were contestable.

• In try-scoring possessions, Saracens have played an average of 2.5 phases – fewer than any other team.

• Saracens are the best team in the league under the high ball: they have successfully fielded a league-high 64.9% of their pressured defensive catches.

• Andy Christie has made the most dominant carries (24), post-contact metres (96), offloads (11), and tackles (112) in the Saracens squad.

Exeter Chiefs

• Jacques Vermuelen made the most dominant carries in Round 11 (eight). He also scored two tries in his 59-minute performance.

• Henry Slade is the only player to have scored over 100 points this season (102) – 23 more than any other player.

• Tom Wyatt has made more carry metres (740) and beaten more defenders (39) than any other player.

• Exeter Chiefs have the best rate of gainline success in the Premiership (44.6%). They have also scored the most tries, a total of 48.

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