Mark McCall names strong Saracens side to face Sharks

14:32 08 January 2014

Brad Barritt of Saracens (centre) is congratulated by team-mates after scoring during the victory over South Africa at Wembley Stadium in 2009. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Brad Barritt of Saracens (centre) is congratulated by team-mates after scoring during the victory over South Africa at Wembley Stadium in 2009. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

2009 Getty Images

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is hoping his side’s historic one-off clash against Sharks at Allianz Park this month can rival their Titanic tussle with South Africa in 2009.

The Sanlam Private Investments Shield on January 25 will pit the current Premiership leaders against the Currie Cup Champions and the Hendon outfit have have named a powerful 23-man squad for the visit of the Springbok franchise.

It follows four years on from a memorable match at Wembley Stadium four years ago when Sarries came from 18-6 down to beat then reigning world champions South Africa, who were on a European tour.

While that was a club versus country affair, this match, which will conclude the Sharks’ pre-season campaign, pits a powerhouse of Southern hemisphere rugby against one of the best sides in the northern hemisphere.

McCall said: “Our match against the Springboks four years ago was one of the greatest occasions in the club’s history, and this will be a similar kind of one-off event… the Premiership leaders against South Africa’s Currie Cup champions. We will field our strongest possible side.”

Bismarck du Plessis, who is among 12 Springboks named in the Sharks squad, said: “It’s a special challenge for us.

“Saracens have developed into a really strong team, and their recent success has been keenly followed in South Africa. They will present very tough opposition as we prepare for the Super XV, and we’re excited to play on the artificial turf pitch at Allianz Park.”

Jake White will be guiding the Sharks for the first time and the former World Cup-winning coach said: “Playing Saracens on the artificial turf at Allianz Park is just about the toughest match we could have organised as we conclude our preparations for the new season, but we are excited by the challenge.

“Saracens have been one of the most consistently successful clubs in Europe over the past few years and, with their close SA connections both on the field and in the boardroom, they are followed and supported by almost everybody associated with South African rugby.”

Daniel Kriel, CEO of Sanlam Private Investments, said: “We are delighted to support this rare clash between the current Premiership leaders and the reigning Currie Cup champions. It will be a fantastic rugby event on so many levels – England versus South Africa, Heineken Cup against Super XV, north versus south.”

Saracens squad to face the Sharks:

Chris Wyles, David Strettle, Michael Tagicakibau, Marcelo Bosch, Brad Barritt, Duncan Taylor, Sam Stanley, Charlie Hodgson, Neil de Kock, Richard Wigglesworth

Richard Barrington, Nick Auterac, Schalk Brits, Jamie George, Matt Stevens, Petrus Du Plessis, Steve Borthwick (c), Alistair Hargreaves, Mouritz Botha, Jacques Burger, Nick Fenton-Wells, Justin Melck, Ernst Joubert

Sharks squad to play Saracens:

Lourens Adriaanse, Willem Alberts, Dale Chadwick, Marcell Coetzee, Kyle Cooper, Jean Deysel, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter Stephanus du Toit, Adriaan Esterhuizen, Tyler Fisher, Paul Jordaan, Ryan Kankowski, Peet Marais, Charl McLeod, Tendai Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndugane, Etienne Oosthuizen, Jacobus Reinach, Francois Steyn, Timothy Swiel, Jaco van Tonder, Heimar Williams, Frederik Zeilinga.

Related articles


Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 12:00

Ryan Sellers feels his return to Wingate & Finchley increases his long-term prospects of a Football League comeback – because he is enjoying the game again.

Yesterday, 11:00

In the latest of a series of features casting the spotlight on local football fans, Hendon chairman Simon Lawrence reveals his favourite players, his most memorable matches, his funniest moment with the Greens and the biggest challenge facing the club.

Yesterday, 10:00

The newly-formed Camden & Islington Girls League kicked off on Friday as six teams got the competition up and running at Market Road.

Yesterday, 09:00

Captain Cian Hynes believes Hendon can adjust their initial target for the season and now aim for a place in the top three or four after Saturday’s victory over Wasps.

Yesterday, 08:00

Hampstead head coach Peter Breen says Pete Wood’s impressive return to the first team underlines the club’s strength in depth after the winger scored twice in Saturday’s victory over London Nigerian.

Yesterday, 07:30

Casey Maclaren hopes he has many more happy years ahead at Hendon, stating he will be with the Greens for as long as they want him, after making his 300th appearance for the club.

Wed, 17:15

Joyce Esser struck a hat-trick as Hampstead & Westminster Ladies secured their fourth victory in a row in the Women’s Conference East, beating Harleston Magpies 4-1 and leapfrogging their visitors into the top three places.

Wed, 16:20

Highgate Harriers’ quartet of runners held off heavyweight opposition to clinch a surprise victory in the Southern Senior Relay Championships at Wormwood Scrubs.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now