Premiership Semi-Final: Saracens v Harlequins

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Written By DonaldMoon

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As they attempt to defeat Harlequins, Saracens will be back to their best as they try to win the Premiership semi-final.

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

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Quins make two adjustments to the team that lost 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 final at Twickenham will be held on Saturday, 18 June.
  • Semi-final Preview: Leicester v Northampton
  • This is Saracens’ first play-off match since beating Exeter to win 2019 Premiership final.

After violating the Premiership’s salary caps rules, the club was relegated. They won the abridged Championship in the previous season.

Saracens go back to where they want to be

Mark McCall’s team won 17 matches and lost six in this term’s regular-season matches to finish second in the Premiership, seven behind Leicester.

After making 15 adjustments for the 54-7 loss at Gloucester, they remember a host international stars, including England quartet Mako, Billy Vunipola and Jamie George and Springbok World Cup-winning prop Vincent Koch.

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Champions Quins “will stand their ground”

Quins beat 36 to 43 in dramatic extra-time at the table-top Bristol semi-finals a year ago.

They carried this momentum into the final, beating Exeter at Twickenham a week later. Lynagh scored two late attempts in a seesaw battle.

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

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

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Lynagh’s injury will be a major blow. However, Scotland’s back Huw Jones will try to end his Harlequins career with a bang ahead of a summer move 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 that it’s going be a ferocious environment on the field,” Nick Evans, Harlequins’ attack coach, told BBC Radio London.

“Sarries love the confrontation with Owen Farrell, but that’s how they play. We expect that and will stand our ground.

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“The guys talked about how that looks and what we need do to make it 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.