Saracens v Harlequins (Sat)

Mako Vunipola

Mako Vunipola captains Saracens on his 95th appearance for the north London club

Saracens make five changes for the London derby against Harlequins at Wembley, with England prop Mako Vunipola captaining the side.

Marcelo Bosch is named at centre, Neil de Kock and Charlie Hodgson form a new half-back pairing, while Jim Hamilton and Michael Rhodes return in the pack.

Joe Marchant returns at centre for Harlequins, one of four changes made by director of rugby Conor O’Shea.

Will Collier, Charlie Matthews and Nick Easter are named among the forwards.

With Quins five points adrift of the play-off places, and only three games of the regular season remaining, O’Shea has described the match as “do or die” for his team.

Last year’s corresponding fixture attracted a world-record club crowd of over 84,000, with a similar attendance expected this year.


A crowd of 84,068 attended last year’s meeting between Harlequins and Saracens at Wembley

Harlequins boss Conor O’Shea told BBC Radio 5 live:

“Everyone wants to be around games like this. If we are going to be in the top four we have to win, full stop.

“The game against Saracens is won or lost in one way – and that’s a physical battle, You have to be prepared to go to war.”

Saracens: Goode; Ashton, Bosch, Taylor, Wyles; Hodgson, de Kock; M. Vunipola (capt), Brits, Du Plessis; Hamilton, Kruis; Rhodes, Wray, B. Vunipola

Replacements: Saunders, Barrington, Lamositele, Smith, Vunisa, Wigglesworth, Farrell, Tompkins

Harlequins: Brown; Yarde, Marchant, Roberts, Visser; Botica, Care (capt); Lambert, Gray, Collier; Matthews, Twomey; Robshaw, Clifford, Easter

Replacements: Ward, Evans, Sinckler, Merrick, Luamanu, Dickson, Hopper, Chisholm

Referee: Greg Garner

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