Saracens v Exeter Preview: Team news, kick-off time, line-ups and stats for the Aviva Premiership final
One of the most exciting Premiership finals for some time awaits at Twickenham this Saturday when Saracens take on Exeter Chiefs
Sarries name an unchanged XV after Owen Farrell recovered from a rib injury
Exeter, playing in their first Premiership final, have picked the same side that beat Wasps last Saturday
Saracens are aiming to add English rugby union’s domestic title to their European crown when they face Exeter in the Premiership final at Twickenham.
Saracens stand on the brink of completing an historic double following on from their Champions Cup triumph over Racing 92 at the start of the month. Defending champions from last season, they will head to a venue they know so well as favourites.
Mark McCall has named the same side that defeated Leicester Tigers in the semi-final stages as Saracens look to secure back-to-back Premiership titles and a historic double.
Buoyed by last weekend’s semi-final victory over Wasps at Sandy Park, Exeter’s Rob Baxter has also named an unchanged starting XV for their trip to English Rugby’s HQ.
The only changes come on the bench where injuries to Thomas Waldrom (knee) and Sam Hill (hamstring) mean that Kai Horstmann and Michele Campagnaro are added to the mix.
Saracens are bidding to become English champions for the third time, having won the Premiership Final in 2011 and 2015
The European Champions are also shooting for a domestic and European double to emulate Toulouse in 1996, Leicester in 2001 & 2002, Wasps in 2004 and Toulon in 2015
Saracens have won their last nine matches in all tournaments since their 13-21 reversal to Leicester at Welford Road in Premiership Rugby on March 20
The Londoner’s only defeat in their last six visits to Twickenham was in the 2014 Premiership Rugby Final to Northampton Saints.
Exeter Chiefs are the tenth different club to participate in a Premiership Rugby final, and have played in four previous finals in other competitions at Twickenham, losing them all: to Rotherham and Orrell in the 2002 & 2003 Pilkington Challenge Shield, and to Cornish Pirates and Northampton in the 2007 & 2008 National Trophy
The Chiefs have won their last three matches since their 9-16 defeat at Gloucester in Round 20 of Premiership Rugby
The two clubs have met on 12 previous occasions in Premiership Rugby with Saracens having the edge by eight wins to four, they have also locked horns in one previous final, in the 2015 Anglo-Welsh Cup with Saracens running out 23-20 victors at Franklin’s Gardens.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Marcelo Bosch
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Don Armand, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Michele Campagnaro, 23 James Short
Date: Saturday, May 28
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: JP Doyle, Luke Pearce
TMO: Sean Davey