Harlequins v Saracens preview: Team news, kick-off time, line-ups and stats for the Aviva Premiership clash

  • Harlequins have made four changes to their side for the visit of Premiership leaders Saracens
  • Sarries, still unbeaten this season, make a total of seven changes to the side which beat Leicester.
Harlequins have made four changes to their side for the visit of reigning Premiership champions and current league leaders Saracens to Twickenham Stoop on Saturday.

Rob Buchanan and Adam Jones come into the front row, Jack Clifford starts at number eight and Marland Yarde returns to the wing.

Unbeaten Saracens make seven changes to the side that beat Leicester, with Jim Hamilton and Jackson Wray returning.

Owen Farrell and Neil de Kock form a new half-back pair, and Mike Ellery and Duncan Taylor also come into the backs.

Hooker Jamie George captains the side, while England forward Billy Vunipola will make his 50th appearance for the north London club.

Quins director of rugby Conor O’Shea told BBC Sport: “”I look at the number of tries Saracens have scored and the number their outside backs have scored.

“They out-muscle you up front and play in any which way they like. It’s what every team dreams to do.

“We know they are an outstanding rugby team, well drilled with game-breakers all over the pitch. We are not too bad either.”

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall told BBC Radio London, “Harlequins are a great team, have had a really good season and recruited well in the summer. They have a few more strings to their bow now.

“We know it will be a difficult game, especially at The Stoop, but we are in very good form ourselves.

“The big games keep coming thick and fast. The players are in good spirits but are very good at knuckling down.

“We are going to have to be on the money.”

Check out RUCK’s Aviva Premiership predictions here

  • Saracens’ perfect start to the new season continued with their victory over Leicester Tigers last week – an eighth successive Premiership Rugby win since the start of the campaign, equalling their previous best start set in 2009/10.
  • Harlequins have won just one of their last 14 matches with Saracens in all tournaments, and with Sarries yet to concede a try away from home they look set to extend their winning run at the Stoop to six games.

Harlequins: Marland Yarde
Saracens: Mike Ellery

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Ross Chisholm, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 James Horwill, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Seb Adeniran-Olule, 18 Will Collier, 19 George Merrick, 20 Nick Easter, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Harry Sloan.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 Mike Ellery, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Jamie George (c), 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Maro Itoje, 20 Jacques Burger, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Nick Tompkins.

Date: Saturday, January 9
Venue: The Stoop
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden, Simon McConnell
TMO: Keith Lewis

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