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TEAMS: Saracens bring in the big guns for Munster rematch

Billy Vunipola

Saracens have recalled England quintet Billy Vunipola, Owen Farrell, Jamie George, Elliot Daly and George Kruis into their starting line-up to face Munster this weekend in the Champions Cup.

The reigning champions fell to defeat at Thomond Park six days ago and host Munster seeking to overcome the 10-3 result.

Director of rugby Mark McCall has dropped stand-in skipper Jackson Wray to the bench for Vunipola to start at no.8, as captaincy duties transfer to Farrell.

Vunipola partners Ben Earl and Nick Isiekwe in the back row, as Saracens play catch up with pool leaders Racing and Munster.

George comes in at hooker for Jack Singleton and World Cup winner Vincent Koch starts at tighthead.

Maro Itoje and Will Skelton drop out of the squad as Joel Kpoku partners Kruis in the second row in a shake up to the pack.

Speaking after the loss to Munster, McCall conceded qualification for the knockout stages in Europe were ‘probably out of our hands to a degree’, adding ‘we need to win next week’.

This has led the Ulsterman to lean on Richard Wigglesworth to control play at scrum-half and Nick Tompkins is preferred to Brad Barritt.

Saracens have also received the boost of full-back Max Malins returning to full fitness from a broken foot which has kept him sidelined since September.

Saracens v Munster (Saturday, 3pm kick-off)

Saracens: 15 Max Malins, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Owen Farrell (capt), 9 Richard Wigglesworth; 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Vincent Koch, 4 Joel Kpoku, 5 George Kruis, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 7 Ben Earl, 8 Billy Vunipola

Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Josh Ibuanokpe, 19 Calum Clark, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Manu Vunipola, 23 Duncan Taylor

Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray; 1 James Cronin, 2 Niall Scannell, 3 John Ryan, 4 Jean Kleyn, 5 Billy Holland, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 7 Peter O’Mahony (capt), 8 CJ Stander

Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Liam O’Connor, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Fineen Wycherley, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Dan Goggin, 23 Tommy O’Donnell

Harlequins v Ulster (Friday, 7.45pm kick-off)

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 James Lang, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Brett Herron, 9 Martin Landajo; 1 Santiago Garcia Botta, 2 Elia Elia, 3 Kyle Sinckler (capt), 4 Stephan Lewies, 5 Tevita Cavubati, 6 Will Evans, 7 Semi Kunatani, 8 Alex Dombrandt

Replacements: 16 Jack Musk, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Dino Lamb, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Niall Saunders, 22 Paul Lasike, 23 Travis Ismaiel

Ulster: 15 Jacob Stockdale, 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Louis Ludik, 10 Billy Burns, 9 John Cooney; 1 Eric O’Sullivan, 2 Rob Herring, 3 Marty Moore, 4 Kieran Treadwell, 5 Iain Henderson (capt), 6 Sean Reidy, 7 Jordi Murphy, 8 Marcell Coetzee

Replacements: 16 Adam McBurney, 17 Andy Warwick, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 Alan O’Connor, 20 Matt Rea, 21 David Shanahan, 22 Bill Johnston, 23 Craig Gilroy

Leinster v Northampton Saints (Saturday, 5.15pm kick-off)

Leinster: 15 Jordan Larmour, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Luke McGrath; 1 Cian Healy, 2 James Tracy, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Scott Fardy (capt), 5 James Ryan, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 Calean Doris

Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ciarán Frawley, 23 Rob Kearney

Northampton Saints: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Andrew Symons, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Connor Tupai; 1 Francois van Wyk, 2 Michael van Vuuren, 3 Paul Hill, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 5 Alex Coles, 6 Tom Wood (capt), 7 Jamie Gibson, 8 Lewis Ludlam

Replacements: 16 Sam Matavesi, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Ehren Painter, 19 Lewis Bean, 20 JJ Tonks, 21 James Mitchell, 22 James Grayson, 23 Fraser Dingwall

Connacht v Gloucester (Saturday, 12.45pm kick-off)

Connacht: 15 Jack Carty, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 John Porch, 10 Conor Fitzgerald, 9 Caolin Blade; 1 Pete McCabe, 2 David Heffernan, 3 Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 4 Ultan Dillane, 5 Joe Maksymiw, 6 Eoin McKeon, 7 Jarrad Butler (capt), 8 Paul Boyle

Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Niall Murray, 20 Eoghan Masterson, 21 Stephen Kerins, 22 Tom Daly, 23 Robin Copeland

Gloucester: 15 Matt Banahan, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Callum Braley; 1 Josh Hohneck, 2 Todd Gleave, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Alex Craig, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 6 Freddie Clarke, 7 Lewis Ludlow (capt), 8 Ruan Ackermann

Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Chris Harris

Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks (Sunday, 1pm kick-off)

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Nic White; 1 Alec Hepburn, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3 Harry Williams, 4 Dave Dennis (capt), 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Dave Ewers, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 8 Sam Simmonds

Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Don Armand, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Olly Woodburn

Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Redpath, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Luke James, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Will Cliff; 1 Ross Harrison, 2 Curtis Langdon, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 4 Matthew Postlewhaite, 5 James Phillips, 6 Tom Curry, 7 Ben Curry, 8 Jono Ross (capt)

Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Valery Morozov, 18 WillGriff John, 19 Bryn Evans, 20 Cameron Neild, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Tom Curtis, 23 Marland Yarde

Clermont Auvergne v Bath (Sunday, 3.15pm kick-off)

Clermont: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Samuel Ezeala, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 George Moala, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra (capt); 1 Giorgi Beria, 2 John Ulugia, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 4 Arthur Iturria, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 6 Alexandre Fischer, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 8 Fritz Lee

Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Loni Uhila, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 George Merrick, 20 Faifili Levave, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Apisai Naqalevu

Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Ruaridh McConnochie, 13 Max Wright, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Chris Cook; 1 Lewis Boyce, 2 Jack Walker, 3 Christian Judge, 4 Levi Douglas, 5 Elliott Stooke, 6 Mike Williams, 7 Tom Ellis (capt), 8 Josh Bayliss

Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Sam Nixon, 19 Josh McNally, 20 Sam Underhill, 21 Ollie Fox, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Gabe Hamer-Webb

Racing 92 v Ospreys (Friday, 7.45pm kick-off)

Racing 92: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Henry Chavancy (c), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Maxime Machenaud; 1 Eddy Ben Arous, 2 Teddy Baubigny, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Boris Palu, 6 Fabien Sanconnie, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 8 Yoan Tanga

Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Hassane Kolingar, 18 Georges Henri Colombe, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Jordan Joseph, 21 Antoine Gibert, 22 Olivier Klemenczak, 23 Finn Russell

Ospreys: 15 Cai Evans, 14 Lesley Klim, 13 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, 12 Kieran Williams, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Shaun Venter; 1 Nicky Smith, 2 Scott Otten, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 4 Adam Beard, 5 Lloyd Ashley, 6 Dan Lydiate (capt), 7 Sam Cross, 8 Morgan Morris

Replacements: 16 Dewi Lake, 17 Rhys Fawcett, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Guido Volpi, 20 Will Jones, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Luke Price, 23 Tom Williams

Benetton v Lyon (Saturday, 12.45pm kick-off)

Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Ratuva Tavuyara, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage (capt); 1 Cherif Traore, 2 Hame Faiva, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 4 Ira Herbst, 5 Eli Snyman, 6 Seb Negri, 7 Giovanni Pettinelli, 8 Braam Steyn

Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Michele Mancini Parri, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Marco Lazzaroni, 21 Marco Barbini, 22 Tito Tebaldi, 23 Antonio Rizzi

Lyon: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Ethan Dumortier, 13 Pierre-Louis Barassi, 12 Rudi Wulf, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Pato Fernandez, 9 Jonathan Pélissié (capt); 1 Vivien Devisme, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 3 Clement Ric, 4 Killian Geraci, 5 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Patrick Sobela, 7 Liam Gill, 8 Loann Goujon

Replacements: 16 Badri Alkhazashvili, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Hamza Kaabèche, 19 Tanginoa Halaifonua, 20 Virgile Bruni, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Xavier Mignot, 23 Jonathan Wisniewski

Montpellier v Toulouse (Saturday, 3pm kick-off)

Montpellier: 15 Thomas Darmon, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Yvan Reilhac, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i; 1 Gregory Fichten, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 4 Nick Janse van Rensburg, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 6 Fulgence Oudraogo, 7 Julien Bardy, 8 Selevasio Tolofua

Replacements: 16 Youri Delhommel, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Antoine Guillamon, 19 Caleb Timu, 20 Enzo Sanga, 21 Kevin Kornath, 22 Jan Serfontein, 23 Julien Le Devedec

Toulouse: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Sébastien Bézy; 1 Cyril Baille, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 3 Paulo Tafili, 4 Rory Arnold, 5 Richie Gray, 6 Jerome Kaino (capt), 7 Francois Cros, 8 Selevasio Tolofua

Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Clément Castets, 18 Maks Van Dyk, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Pierre Pages, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Lucas Tauzin

Glasgow Warriors v La Rochelle (5.15pm kick-off)

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Tommy Seymour, 14 Niko Matawalu, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Kyle Steyn, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price; 1 Aki Seiuli, 2 Fraser Brown, 3 Zander Ferguson, 4 Scott Cummings, 5 Jonny Gray, 6 Ryan Wilson, 7 Callum Gibbins (capt), 8 Matt Fagerson

Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Adam Nicol, 19 Rob Harley, 20 Tom Gordon, 21 George Horne, 22 Nick Grigg, 23 Ruaridh Jackson

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Jules Favre, 13 Brieuc Plessis-Couillaud, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Brock James, 9 Alexi Bales; 1 Reda Wardi, 2 Facundo Bosch, 3 Sila Puafisi, 4 Thomas Lavault, 5 Mathieu Tanguy, 6 Kevin Gourdon (capt), 7 Paul Boudehent, 8 Gregory Alldritt

Replacements: 16 Brendan Lebrun, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Vincent Pelo, 19 Rémi Leroux, 20 Zeno Kieft, 21 Thomas Berjon, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Pierre Aguillon

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