Preview: Saracens vs Northampton Saints

Preview: Saracens vs Northampton Saints

Saracens only victory in their last four first team matches was 45-21 at home to London Irish in Round 23 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby. Saracens have won their last fifteen Premiership Rugby at StoneX Stadium since Gloucester beat them there in January 2022. This is Saracens fourteenth appearance in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby semi-finals whilst their only defeat in their last seven matches at that stage was 16-18 at Exeter in 2017.

Northampton Saints only defeat in their last four matches was 22-37 at London Irish in Round 21 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby. Saints have won just three times away from home this season in Gallagher Premiership Rugby, beating Wasps in Coventry in October, Leicester at Welford Road in January, and Newcastle at Kingston Park in April. Northampton have appeared in eleven previous Gallagher Premiership Rugby semi-finals winning just two, 27-13 against Saracens at StoneX Stadium in 2013 and against Leicester at cinch Stadium in 2014.

Northampton beat Saracens 38-29 at Franklins’ Gardens last month to end a four-game losing run against the Londoners in Premiership Rugby. The Saints have a good record on previous visits to StoneX Stadium in Gallagher Premiership Rugby with a won four, lost five record, although they have won just once at the ground in the tournament since 2016.

Referee: Karl Dickson (76th Premiership game, 1st semi-final).

Assistant Referees: Ian Tempest and Craig Maxwell-Keys. TMO: Stuart Terheege.

Citing Officer: Danae Zamboulis

Saracens Team News

Owen Farrell has challenged his side to make the most of their home semi-final against Northampton Saints as they look to book their place in the Twickenham showpiece with a win on Saturday afternoon.

The Club Captain is fully focused on the last four clash at StoneX Stadium when Sarries will be hoping to make it back-to-back finals in their pursuit of the Gallagher Premiership trophy.

Director of Rugby Mark McCall has drawn upon a wealth of knockout experience for the semi, with a settled side chosen for Saturday’s encounter including last StoneX runouts for both Jackson Wray and Duncan Taylor.

Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Marco Riccioni start in a powerful front-row, with Maro Itoje and Hugh Tizard in the engine room. Nick Isiekwe adds extra bulk to the back-row, and he will be alongside Ben Earl and Jackson Wray at the base of the scrum.

Ivan van Zyl and captain Farrell once again continue their half-back combination, as do the trusted midfield pairing of Nick Tompkins and Alex Lozowski.

Sean Maitland and Max Malins will be tasked with finishing any opportunities on the wings, and as ever Alex Goode will be at full-back.

On the bench Theo Dan has another chance to impress, and Elliot Daly will look to make another step towards full fitness after returning against Bath last weekend.

Starting XV: 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Marco Riccioni, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Hugh Tizard, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 7 Ben Earl, 8 Jackson Wray; 9 Ivan Van Zyl, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Sean Maitland, 12 Nick Tompkins, 13 Alex Lozowski, 14 Max Malins, 15 Alex Goode
Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Callum Hunter-Hill, 20 Toby Knight, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Elliot Daly

Northampton Saints Team News

Director of Rugby Phil Dowson has named his Northampton Saints side to face Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership semi-finals this weekend, with James Ramm and Robbie Smith both fit to return to the matchday 23.

The men in Black, Green and Gold travel to StoneX Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off: 3.30pm) having reached the play-offs for the second consecutive season, but will be looking to go even further than last year by beating the league’s top-ranked side away from home.

Saints won their last away match of the season in Newcastle, and triumphed over this weekend’s opponents at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens the week beforehand – but with only one of the last 14 Premiership semi-finals being won by the away side on the day, and with Saracens unbeaten in their last 15 home matches in the league, Northampton know they will have to tear up the form guide in north London.

Club captain Lewis Ludlam will once again lead out Northampton on Saturday, with the England flanker joined in the back row by No.8 Juarno Augustus – who has made more metres (725) with ball in hand than any other forward in the Premiership this season.

Courtney Lawes brings up a milestone in the back row for Saints as he makes his 165th start in the Premiership, taking him past Stephen Myler (164) to a Club record tally of league starts.

David Ribbans and Alex Moon continue their partnership in the engine room for Northampton, starting together for the fourth straight Premiership match, while in the front row props Alex Waller and Trevor Davison pack down either side of hooker Tom Cruse.

The men in Black, Green and Gold scored 11 more tries than any Premiership side this season at an average of 4.2 per game, and will need the back-line on fire again this weekend if they are to topple Saracens.

Starting XV: 15 George Furbank, 14 James Ramm, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tommy Freeman, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Alex Mitchell; 1 Alex Waller, 2 Tom Cruse, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 David Ribbans, 5 Alex Moon, 6 Courtney Lawes – 165th Premiership start, new Club record, 7 Lewis Ludlam (c), 8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Sam Graham, 22 Tom James, 23 Tom Collins



· Saracens have won four of their last five matches against the Northampton Saints, losing their most recent meeting 38-29 at Cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

· Saracens haven’t won consecutive matches since January. However, they haven’t lost consecutive matches since January 2022.


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